A primary concern for people living out bush is the lack of face-to-face banking services in regional Australia. This has been a primary concern of One Nation’s now for more than 20 years.
The national inquiry into banks closing their services in rural areas is uncovering crucial issues that need urgent attention. A recent hearing in Sale revealed a shocking lack of consultation between banks and community members before deciding to shut down their branches.
The disconnect between the head offices of large corporations in major cities and the realities of regional communities is becoming a significant issue. The Senate inquiry heard the concerns of these communities across regional Australia and has heard of innovative solutions to keep banking services in rural areas open.
A Postal Bank would fit Australia’s gap in regional banking services quite neatly and has been implemented successfully in Japan and New Zealand.
The Postal Bank would convert current Australia Post branches into a proper national bank run by the government, providing face-to-face banking services to regional Australians. The benefits of the Postal Bank are many.
Regional and metropolitan councils around Australia are now signing up for the campaign to introduce an Australia Post Bank because of the benefits they see for their communities.
A local bank branch that knows the area and the people was the key to the success of the original Commonwealth Bank, which did incredible things to build Australia before it was dismantled after pressure from private banks. We need a proper banking service in regional Australia that provides face-to-face services to the people.
Many Australian politicians have now realised the damage these bank closures are doing to the bush. A serious and urgent re-think is required or many areas of rural Australia may no longer be viable communities
The Senate inquiry is not a witch hunt into banks, as some have suggested. It is a necessary inquiry to address the lack of face-to-face banking services in regional Australia. The Postal Bank proposal is a viable solution that needs to be explored further. Like so many other issues, we need broad political buy-in from parliament for the proposal to gain traction.