17 March 2016
Queensland LNP Senator and Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister the Hon. James McGrath has slammed a proposal to close Toogoolawah’s only bank saying the decision would leave the community without proper access to essential banking services.
Senator McGrath said the ANZ Bank had been operating in the community for 65 years and its closure would cause major inconvenience to customers and adversely impact the town.
“There is no doubt that the bank is vital to the citizens of Toogoolawah having a sustainable future. I fear that if the branch closes, then the town will slowly fade away,” Senator McGrath said.
“And the ANZ Bank’s suggestion that customers can ‘catch a bus to the next suburb’ shows a complete lack of understanding of the region. My own personal experience is that the nearest town with an ANZ branch would be Kilcoy, which is 35 minutes from Toogoolawah and there is no public transport of any kind to get there.
“I also know that there are major internet and mobile connection issues in and around the area, making online banking near impossible for many of the bank’s current clients.”
Senator McGrath said the ANZ bank had shown little concern for the town’s residents or its own customers in making this decision.
“It appears that ANZs decision to close this branch, along with many other branches in the last six months, may not have been in the best interests of their customers and I will be writing to the CEO and Chairman of ANZ expressing my outrage at this pathetic decision.”
In an open letter read to a community meeting organised by the ‘Save Our Bank’ committee on Thursday 17 March, Senator McGrath offered his full support to the Toogoolawah community in their fight to keep the ANZ bank open.
“I want the people of Toogoolawah and surrounding areas to know that I will do everything I can to have the bank’s decision in Toogoolawah reversed as soon as possible.
“Many of residents of Toogoolawah have been loyal customers of the ANZ bank for decades and even generations. It is simply not right for the bank to jump ship and leave this important community without banking services.”
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