Recruit your community—
pass the Commonwealth Postal Savings Bank!
To promote and build support for the Commonwealth Postal Savings Bank (CPSB), we have drafted a resolution which can be adopted by local councils, chambers of commerce, union branches, political party branches, and indeed any community organisation.
- 27 July 2021, councillors at the Narrabri Shire Council in NSW unanimously passed a motion supporting the CPSB, calling on the Parliament to pass the legislation.
- 28 July 2021, the Banana Shire Council in QLD carried a similar motion with no opposition.
- 3 August 2021, the Licensed Post Office Group endorsed the Commonwealth Postal Savings Bank Bill.
- 18 November 2021, the Shire of Yilgarn in WA carried a motion supporting the CPSB.
- 25 August 2022, the Cobar Shire Council in NSW passed a Mayoral Minute resolution in support of CPSB.
- 5 September 2022, the Strathfield City Council in Sydney, NSW passed motion supporting CPBB
As seen from these early results, activists are taking this motion/resolution and motivating its adoption.
The Citizens Party urges all Australians who support a post office people’s bank to take to their local council, chamber of commerce, union branches, political party branches, indeed any community organisation, and ask them to endorse the Commonwealth Postal Savings Bank Bill.
Narrabri Shire Council (NSW) motion and rationale
In moving the motion endorsing the Commonwealth Postal Savings Bank (CPSB), Councillor Maxine Booby provided the following “rationale”:
“As Councillors would be aware Wee Waa has recently lost both banks and their services.
This has disadvantaged many people and businesses and charity groups in town. Businesses have had to allow an employee to travel to Narrabri to do business banking. This involves 1-2 hours of lost time.
Businesses need to bank daily takings and or access cash to service customers in their shopping. Not everyone uses EFTPOS cards.
Charities do not have local access for cash for functions and these functions run on cash, ie: raffles, street stalls, Christmas carnival etc. A Commonwealth Postal Savings Bank would ensure these services that are so important to the smooth functioning of a community.
The present arrangement between the National Australia Bank and Commonwealth Banks can change at the banks’ whim. Already charges for transactions have increased to $4.50.
The situation in Wee Waa is exacerbated by the removal of the town’s ATM. EFTPOS is available for limited cash at IGA and the Bowling Club if you are a member. When the internet went down last week for 3 days people could not access their money and businesses could not service cards or cash outs.
A Commonwealth Postal Savings Bank (CPSB) would permanently secure the financial viability of Australia Post and the LPOs, based on a legislated agreement with Australia Post that guarantees the LPOs share the revenue—their income will not be at the mercy of the private banks deciding whether or not to renew their Bank@Post deals.
It would guarantee financial services for all Australians. The private banks have abandoned small towns in regional Australia and low-income suburbs, but they all have post offices, through which they will be able to bank with CPSB.
It would guarantee bank deposits. The CPSB will be a public bank, owned by the government, which will guarantee all deposits, so Australians who bank at the postal bank will know they won’t lose their savings in a financial crisis or deposit “bail in”.
There would be no “de-banking”. As a public bank the CPSB will not be allowed to discriminate by de-banking lawful businesses.
It would support cash payments. The private banks are trying to do away with cash, which would be a disaster. The CPSB would allow people to always access cash.”
Banana Shire Council (QLD) motion
In a 29 July letter to the local MP, Cr Neville Ferrier, Mayor of Banana Shire Council advised that Council passed a resolution (right) in support of the Commonwealth Postal Savings Bank proposal at its general meeting on 28 July 2021.
In that letter he makes the point, “Council acknowledges that the National Australia Bank and the Commonwealth Bank have agency arrangements with Australia Post through to 2030 and that Westpac are currently negotiating longer term arrangements with Australia Post as well.”
“Notwithstanding the above arrangements the reality for small and medium sized rural communities is that the above arrangements are commercial in nature and subject to change at short notice. Council’s view is that the above arrangements do not offer long-term security of access to banking services for rural communities. Council has supported the establishment of a Commonwealth Postal Savings Bank to offer long term security of access to banking services to rural communities as well as ensuring the ongoing sustainability of post offices in rural communities.”
Shire of Yilgarn (WA) motion
In response to a very detailed email the Shire of Yilgarn in Western Australia passed a motion in support of the Commonwealth Postal Savings Bank Bill on 18 November 2021.
It is noted in the Chief Executive Officer's Report that the resolution was raised at an earlier Councillor Discussion Session after having "received an email from a Melissa Harrison, who introduces herself as a researcher and reporter for the Australian Alert Service, the weekly magazine of the Australian Citizens Party, whereby the “Councillors sought to have the matter referred to the November Council meeting for a determination.”
It is noted by the Chief Executive Officer that the "Yilgarn district has lost two banks in the last few years and the community, including the Shire, are reliant on the local Australia Post outlet, or must travel over 200km round trip for depositing and in person banking needs.
Cobar Shire Council (NSW) motion
On 28 August 2022, Cobar Shire Council became the forth council to support the Commonwealth Postal Savings Bank Bill.
Mayor Peter Abbot used his prerogative of a Mayoral Minute to initiate a discussion and motion that passed 6-4 in favour of council writing to their Local State and Federal Members of Parliament, to inform them of “Council’s desire to support passage of the Commonwealth Postal Savings Bank Bill through Parliament”; and for the motion to be forwarded to the next Local Government NSW conference “for consideration and support”.
As one councillor said during debate on the likelihood of getting the post office bank, even if it doesn’t come to pass, it might “force the banks to stop shutting down branches”.
Strathfield City Council (NSW) motion
On 6 September inner-western Sydney’s Strathfield Council became the fifth Australian Council to pass a motion endorsing an Australian postal bank. The vote was unanimous. Andrew Soulos, former Mayor of Strathfield, and Kinglsy Liu ,Citizens Party Senate candidate for NSW, led the effort to make this happen. The news was warmly greeted by Licensed Post Office Group (LPOG) Executive Director Angela Cramp and Deputy Chair Andrew Hirst.
The motion read:
That Council write to each member and senator of the Federal Parliament urging that they support the Commonwealth Postal Savings Bank Bill 2021 for:
(i) the betterment of every Strathfield and Australian citizen and
(ii) the betterment of Strathfield Council’s and all Australian Councils’ finances.
The Rationale behind the motion opens with:
Why is postal banking a local government issue?
- The financial bottom line of councils, can benefit from increased banking competition and low-cost loans, is a local government issue.
- Improving the quality of life for constituents is a responsibility that connects all levels of government.
Why the need for a post office bank?
- The Big 4 banks particularly have been closing branches at an alarming rate throughout Australia over the last few decades. Post Offices have a public mandate to remain open to communities everywhere.
- The Big 4 banks particularly have been moving away from face-to-face services and towards electronic services leaving traditional customers, including elderly and disabled, behind.