Shadow Treasurer Louise Staley today called on Victorian Treasurer Tim Pallas to reverse the ill-conceived Andrews Labor Government decision to remove government banking from local communities.
The State Government recently announced that all public organisations must bank their funds with the Sydney headquartered bank, Westpac.
This decision will harm regional Victorian communities which have strong connections with local banks. Community banks will also be left in a position of not being able to fund the current range of public facilities, something that these communities rely on.
Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, one of Australia’s largest community banks, is a major contributor to the Australian public and has invested almost $114 million in Victorian communities since 1997.
In 2017/18, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank funded 4,584 community projects worth over $12.9 million.
The Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Group provide banking services in more than 540 towns and suburbs across Australia and in more than 90 communities, Bendigo Bank is the only face to face banking service.
Many of the community organisations and towns affected by the Government’s reckless decision don’t have a Westpac branch which will result in the funds going out of the community.
Comments attributable to Shadow Treasurer, Louise Staley:
“Tim Pallas and Daniel Andrews, Premier for Melbourne, need to come clean and explain to Victorian communities why they are being forced to move money out of their local towns.
Daniel Andrews is more interested in helping out Sydney than he is regional Victoria and if he had any idea how rural and regional communities work, he wouldn’t be making this decision.
Community banks are the bread and butter in rural and regional communities and without them, the necessary projects and programs that better the lives of locals simply would not get funded.”