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Monday, 2 April 2001
Page: 26122


Mr EMERSON (1:57 PM) —I too wish to talk about bank closures, particularly the decision of the National Australia Bank to close the branch at the Marsden Park shopping centre. That branch services customers both in the seat of Rankin and also in the seat of Forde. I would hope that the member for Forde would join with me in urging the National Australia Bank to retain that branch in the Marsden Park shopping centre. It serves hundreds of pensioners who cannot do what the National Australia Bank wants them to do, and that is get on a bus and travel to Browns Plains, which is a very considerable distance away. I ask the member for Forde to urge the Minister for Financial Services and Regulation to use whatever influence he can in getting the National Australia Bank to recognise its social obligations. It has put out a charter—that is maybe an encouraging start—but we want to see action, not just words. I want the National Australia Bank to take its social obligations seriously and reconsider the decision to close that branch. It is very important as a focus for customers for over-the-counter service, and that service will not be provided by expecting people to get on a bus and go all the way to Browns Plains or other locations. In the seat of Forde, a Westpac branch has closed in Waterford. I expect the member for Forde to be more vigilant in urging the banks to recognise that they have social obligations and to keep these branches open. (Time expired)