The Nationals Member for Mildura Jade Benham is celebrating with the Robinvale community that it will not be losing its Westpac branch.
The bank had planned to close this month and had been suspended until the outcome of a Senate Inquiry which is examining the impacts on rural communities. Westpac confirmed Monday they will be keeping their Robinvale Branch open indefinitely.
“Working with Federal Member for Mallee, Dr Anne Webster, we have been advocating to all the big banks on behalf of our region.”
“Vote with your feet. Westpac have listened, start pulling accounts from ANZ and putting them into Westpac.”
Ms Benham says ANZ is determined to shut its doors, refusing to listen to the voices of Robinvale’s 3000-plus population – more than 1300 of them signed a petition asking the bank to stay.
Ms Benham says with the big banks making billions of dollars of profit – ANZ has just reported a record half-year cash profit of $3.82 billion – it is time they listened to their local communities and started to give back.
“It’s all very well for these banking juggernauts to force more and more people into online banking, but that simply doesn’t work with a large number of people – especially the elderly, many of whom don’t even have a computer, let alone get set up for online banking,” she added.
“And frankly – and quite rightly – they also don’t overly trust what goes on in cyberspace and there is more than enough evidence to show they are right.
“In small regional towns, without the bricks and mortar supporting our local communities, people face the real issue of having to travel a minimum of 80km for banking support, and that doesn’t always work either.”
“I’m bating for small regional towns and will continue to advocate for the best outcomes.”