Community facilities | July 19, 2022

Minister refuses to budge on city-centric banking decision

The Andrews Labor Government has delivered another blow to the local community by refusing to grant primary schools an exemption from the State Government banking mandate.

The Nationals Member for Lowan Emma Kealy made a formal request to the Minister for Education after being approached by Dunkeld Consolidated School and Coleraine Primary School to express their concern about the implications of the directive on their local communities.

Labor’s new purchasing contract means all state-owned organisations such as schools and hospitals must close accounts with local banks and transfer their money into one of three big banks – the Commonwealth, Westpac or National Australia Bank.

Ms Kealy said the minister’s decision to refuse the request was just another example of the Andrews Labor Government having no idea how rural and regional communities worked.

“The decision to impose the banking mandate is already impacting directly on our local Bendigo Community Bank branches, which provide vital support for so many local projects and put so much back into our communities,” she said.

“Many of our local schools and hospitals have large accounts with their local community bank that they are being forced to close.

“The more funds our local community banks hold, the more money they can give back to local projects at our schools, hospitals, and other community facilities.

“This directive means even less money is available locally for these vital projects and is just another example of Labor’s centralized, city-centric decision.

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

“We are already seeing many of the big banks close branches in many of our towns and I am once again calling on Daniel Andrews to explain to Lowan residents why their local schools and hospitals are being forced to move money out of our local towns.”

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