On This Day ….. 14th July 1967

In the early years of settlement in Australia, there was no official postal service. Early letters and packages were carried out by boat along the Parramatta River, and sending letters was a luxury largely restricted to officers and their families. After the arrival of Governor Lachlan Macquarie, Australia’s first postmaster was appointed, and the first official post office was opened. Over the next ninety years, each of the colonies of Australia instituted its own postal service. After Federation, Australia’s various post and communication services were all centralised under the name of the Postmaster-General’s Department (PMG) which became effective in March 1901. The PMG controlled all postal services in Australia, and later also controlled the telecommunications services. Postal services in Australia underwent a range of improvements as new technology was introduced. In 1930, in a world-first innovation, mechanical mail handling was introduced at the Sydney Mail Exchange. By 1962, the first automatic postal station had been installed in Melbourne. A system needed to be implemented that would assist with the introduction of machines for sorting letters. On 14 July 1967, 4 digit numeric postcodes were introduced for every suburb and mail delivery area in Australia. At the same time, an extensive $6 million mail exchange opened in Sydney, with the new electronic equipment attracting interest from around the world. By the following year, postcodes were being used on 75% of mail in Australia.