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A Regional Banking Taskforce established by the Liberal and Nationals Government will bring welcome focus on the impact of bank branch closures on regional communities Ms Landry has said.

Federal Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry said changes to banking had noticeable effects through Capricornia.

“Residents of Capricornia are all too familiar with the on-the-ground impacts of dwindling banking services over recent years, so the establishment of this Taskforce is a welcome development.

“The Taskforce will not only look at the impacts of branch closures but also look at what solutions may be available for the residents of Capricornia,” Ms Landry said.

Ms Landry said the Taskforce will bring together banks and other key stakeholders who will hold a number of regional round tables to assess how bank branch closures have impacted local businesses, industries and communities and work collaboratively to identify possible solutions. 

Minister for Regionalisation Bridget McKenzie said the taskforce will provide a platform to establish how the transformation within the banking industry, particularly branch closures, has affected those living in the regions.

“Having access to bank branches is vital for every community, particularly for residents who are unable to use online services to conduct their banking. 

“As we have heard, bank branch closures in the regions also affect the liveability of towns, and so I am pleased to announce this taskforce will be looking at how we can keep banking services in rural Australia,” Minister McKenzie said. 

Taskforce Co-Chairs, Assistant Treasurer Michael Sukkar and Senator for NSW Perin Davey said the establishment of the Taskforce represented a significant milestone.

“This is an opportunity for the Government to work closely with the banks and local communities and small business representatives draw to find workable solutions to this issue,” Mr Sukkar said.

Senator Davey explained she had been in discussions with banks and financial service providers who share a desire to find ways to service regional communities.

“This is a great opportunity to explore constructive avenues to provide an essential service to our communities and I am excited to be involved,” she said.

The Co-Chairs of the Taskforce are:

  • Assistant Treasurer, Minister for Housing and Minister for Homelessness, Social and Community Housing the Hon. Michael Sukkar (as Co-Chair) reporting to the Treasurer and
  • Senator Perin Davey (as Co-Chair) reporting to the Minister for Emergency Management and National Recovery and Resilience and Minister for Regionalisation, Regional Communications and Regional Education, Senator the Hon. Bridget McKenzie

Members include senior representatives from:

  • Banks – ANZ; Commonwealth Bank of Australia; National Australia Bank; Westpac; Bendigo and Adelaide Bank; Bank of Queensland;
  • Peak bodies – the Australian Banking Association, the Customer Owned Banking Association; the Council of Small Business Organisations Australia; the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry;
  • Australia Post; and
  • The Australian Local Government Association.

The Taskforce will hold its first meeting in early November and will release an issues paper for public consultation.

The Regional Banking Taskforce and the Government’s support for rural and regional communities is part of our economic plan to support the recovery and keep Australians together.

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