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Government must listen to councils on banks.

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Senator Sue Mackay

Shadow Minister for Regional Services, Territories and;

Local Government



26 November 1998




Shadow Minister for Regional Services, Territories and Local Government, Sen ator Sue Mackay, has called on the Government to heed calls from local Councils for action to prevent further bank closures.


In a speech to the Parliament Senator Mackay said that Local Government calls for a solution to ongoing bank closures had been completely ignored by the Coalition Government.


“Perhaps this Government hasn’t heard the message on banking coming from Local Government over the last year - after all it is clear from the Tax package, which seeks to rid the Commonwealth of any direct relationship with Local Government, that Councils and their communities don’t rate very highly on the Coalition’s agenda,” said Senator Mackay.


“This Government has consistently ignored Local Government, and clearly underestimates its importance to the community.”


At the recent General Assembly of Local Government, representatives of the 700 local Councils in Australia called on the Federal Government to:


“... Obligate banks to return to providing banking services to towns throughout regional Australia, particularly in view of the large profits of the four major banks and the large number of towns that have lost banking services and the associated socioeconomic problems which have occurred as a result.”


“Local Government knows that government cannot just stand around and watch from the sidelines as local communities are hit by bank fee increases and bank closures. Why doesn’t the Coalition seem to understand this?”


For further information: Jane O’Dwyer (02) 6277 3336 or 0419 93 7336