Member for Mallee Anne Webster has secured a win for the Robinvale community with the announcement the town’s Westpac bank branch will reverse its decision to close.
Dr Webster was contacted by Westpac on Monday afternoon, who informed her that the branch would remain open thanks to continued pressure from the Mallee MP and concerned Robinvale residents.
“This is a significant victory for Robinvale,” Dr Webster said.
“Regional communities should not be forced to use vital bank services online, I pushed the bank to recognise this and I am delighted to say they have listened to me and the community who made their voices heard.”
“I acknowledge the pressure that my colleague Jade Benham the State Member for Mildura who also raised her objections, fully aware of the adverse outcome to her hometown’s people.”
Earlier this year Westpac had paused its planned closure of the branch while it engaged with the ongoing Senate Inquiry into Regional Bank Closures – with the findings of that Inquiry due at the end of the year.
Before that Inquiry was announced Dr Webster had called for a moratorium on regional closures until the banks implemented the recommendations of the 2022 Regional Banking Taskforce backed by the Australian Banking Association.
“I thank Westpac for their cooperation throughout the process and I am very pleased they will continue to provide banking services to Robinvale,” Dr Webster said.
“Robinvale shares similarities with other towns across Mallee, with an ageing population, many small businesses and a significant number of migrants with English as their second language, so inperson banking services are vital to the town.
“I hope Westpac’s move will trigger other banks around Mallee who have announced closures to have another think about their decisions.”