SMALL-TOWN BANKS TO STAY OPEN
Shadow Minister for Northern Australia, Senator Susan McDonald, has welcomed news that Westpac will keep bank branches open permanently in Ingham, Tully and Cloncurry.
Westpac had announced it would close the branches, but after Coalition Senators Matt Canavan and Gerard Rennick spearheaded a Senate Inquiry into regional banking, and personal appeals by Senator McDonald, the company agreed to keep the branches open until the hearings were finalised.
But this week Westpac announced it would keep the branches open permanently.
“I have been working with Westpac to ensure regional branches remain open, and I’m very happy that they have decided against closing them,” said Senator McDonald.
“Regional banking is more than just over-the-counter services, bank branches are important to regional businesses, communities, and families, and often provide the first job in the banking system for young people.
“I would like to thank Westpac for this inspired decision, and I am grateful to Senators Canavan and Rennick for being a significant help in this matter with the Senate Inquiry they established which shone a light on this issue.”