Community facilities | February 15, 2019

Kealy calls for local banking to stay local

The Nationals Member for Lowan Emma Kealy is calling on the Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews to reverse the Labor Government’s mandate to remove State Government banking from local communities.

Labor recently announced that all state-owned organisations such as schools and hospitals must close accounts with local banks and transfer their money into centralised Government accounts in Sydney-based Westpac Bank.

“We are already seeing the big banks close smaller branches and the Andrews Labor Government’s decision to close government accounts in our country branches is likely to result in even more closures,” Ms Kealy said.

There are a number of Community Banks across Lowan who provide vital support for many local projects that will also be significantly impacted by Labor’s decision.

“Many of our local schools and hospitals have large accounts with their local Community Bank,” Ms Kealy said.

“The closure of these accounts will mean these Community Banks will be unable to fund the public facilities and projects that they currently support, something our rural communities rely on.”

The now merged Bendigo and Adelaide Bank is one of Australia’s largest Community Banks and is a major contributor to the Australian public, investing almost $114 million in Victorian communities since 1997. In 2017/18 alone, Bendigo and Adelaide Community Banks funded 4,584 community projects worth over $12.9 million in Victoria.

“If Daniel Andrews, Premier for Melbourne had any idea how rural and regional communities work, he would not be making this decision to move local money out of town,” Ms Kealy said.

“Local banking is good for country communities, providing a vital service and supporting secure local jobs.

“Daniel Andrews needs to come clean and explain to Lowan residents why their local schools and hospitals are being forced to move money out of our local towns, putting our local banks at risk.”


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