20 February 2023
The SA Greens will move for the Upper House to condemn banks for closing their regional branches and call on the Malinauskas Government to advocate for their retention when State Parliament resumes this week.
“Far too many regional communities have been left without local bank branches – threatening business and community life. Coober Pedy is the latest area to be left without this essential service. In fact, over the last decade 69 branches have been closed throughout regional SA. This is particularly galling for South Australians who face rising interest rates, while the banks continue to make massive profits,” said Greens SA Treasury Spokesperson, Robert Simms MLC.
“These banks have a social responsibility to be investing in our communities and the Government should be holding their feet to the fire. This motion urges Westpac to reconsider its decision to close its Coober Pedy Branch and calls on the Government fight to keep bank branches open in the regions.”
Mr Simms will introduce his motion to the Upper House on Wednesday. The text is below.
The Hon. R. A. Simms to move that this council –
I. Notes with concern that:
a) Westpac has decided to close their branch in Coober Pedy leaving the community without a bank; and
b) At least 22 regional towns have been left without a bank branch including Burra, Kapunda, Mannum, Maitland, Peterborough, Roxby Downs, Tailem Bend, Tumby Bay, Willunga;
II. Recognises the adverse impact of the closure of banks on regional communities and in particular, the impediment it places on community and business activity; and
III. Condemns the closure of bank branches in the regions and calls on Westpac to reconsider its decision to close its branch in Coober Pedy; and
IV. Calls on the Malinauskas Government to formally raise the matter with Westpac and advocate for the retention of bank branches in the regions.