To address the growing uncertainty over the financial system, in the face of rising inflation and interest rates, the increased risk of a domestic banking crisis because of our banks exposure to the property bubble, the increasing rate of bank branch closures and threat to viability of our postal service, the Citizens Party is spearheading a campaign to establish a public post office bank.
- Why we need a public post office bank
- Seven benefits of a public post office bank
- Commonwealth Postal Savings Bank Bill
- How a public postal bank would work in Australia
- State of Banking in Australia - The national picture
- International examples of post office banking
- Recruit your community—Local Government Resolutions
- Solve financing needs of local government
- Prominent calls for, and to investigate a public bank option
- Christine Holgate and The Australia Post Senate Inquiry
Skip to What you can do
8 Mar 2023 - 3AW Radio - Tom Elliott - How an Australia Post ‘bank’ could change financial landscape - Interview with Robert Barwick
As part of that effort, the Citizens Party has drafted the Commonwealth Postal Savings Bank Bill, in coordination with Bob Katter MP, to establish a public postal bank similar to the way the original Commonwealth Bank started in post offices in 1912.
Importantly, the original Commonwealth Bank first proved its value as a public bank in the global financial panic of 1914, when it averted a “run” on all Australian banks by the actions of its Governor, Sir Denison Miller, who announced publicly that the Commonwealth Bank stood behind the deposits in all of the banks; consequently, the feared bank panic didn’t eventuate. (In London, which was the epicentre of the 1914 panic, the Commonwealth Bank’s London office was the only bank to remain open during the emergency.)
Like the Commonwealth Bank then, a new public post post office bank will be able to guarantee deposits and provide financial services because it is owned by the government. Put simply, governments are far, far less likely to go bankrupt than private banking corporations are, so customers of public banks can have confidence that their deposits will always be honoured and they will have access to banking services.
Senate establishes broad inquiry into regional bank closures
All impacted communities, groups and individuals urged to make submissions by 31 March
Press Conference from first public hearing in Sale, Victoria of Senate Inquiry into Bank Closures in Regional Australia
How to make submissions
Submissions to the inquiry are due by 31 March. All impacted communities, organisations, businesses, and individuals are strongly urged to make a submission.
A submission can be a formal representation from an organisation, or as simple as a letter or email, which explains to the Committee your experience and views.
Elderly and vulnerable regional bank customers, who are disproportionately affected, are especially encouraged to hand-write or type physical letters and mail them to the Committee through the post.
Mail your submission to the Committee at this address:
Senate Standing Committees on Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport
PO Box 6100
Canberra ACT 2600
Email your submission to the Committee at email@example.com
Upload your submission, and get more information, at the inquiry website
For more information, phone the Committee on 02 6277 3511.
6 Mar 2023 - Sen. Gerard Rennick - MATTERS OF URGENCY - Cost of living at crisis point—We need the ‘Sovereign Seven’ - Senate Speech
Rather than manipulate the price of money which will only help speculators and banks, the RBA should fund a Sovereign bank to fund the Sovereign seven Infrastructure assets – Dams, Power Stations, Roads, Rail, Ports, Airports and Telecommunications – to underpin Australia’s sovereignty.
This would deal with inflation in a productive way that creates jobs and provides essential services, rather than the destructive way the RBA is following of austerity which will cause massive unemployment and homelessness. - Link to Hansard
3 Mar 2023 - ONE NATION Senator Malcolm Roberts - What are regional banking options?
“A Postal Bank would fit Australia’s gap in regional banking services quite neatly and has been implemented successfully in Japan and New Zealand. The Postal Bank would convert current Australia Post branches into a proper national bank run by the government, providing face-to-face banking services to regional Australians. The benefits of the Postal Bank are many.” ... Read On
10 Feb 2023 - Greens NSW announce plan for a NSW public bank amidst rate rise chaos and mortgage stress
“Banking is an essential public service. You simply can’t operate in our modern society without a bank account - handing the reins of this vital public good entirely over to the private sector has been a disaster for households right across Australia ... We have the opportunity now to start taking back control of our banking system, by establishing a bank in NSW that is run by the people and for the people. Our public bank would put community needs front and centre.” ... Read On
5 Feb 2023 - KAP Media Release - Banks abandoning bricks and mortar but bigger issues at play: Katter
Private banks are abandoning rural Australians at an alarming rate and are relying on public-owned infrastructure – namely the Australia Post network – to plug the local service deficits left in their wake, Katter’s Australian Party Leader and Traeger MP Robbie Katter has said. ... The Traeger MP said establishing a “People’s Bank” designed to facilitate economic prosperity and rural and regional growth was a foundational policy platform for the KAP and had been the focus of extensive legislative efforts for the party at both the State and Federal levels. ... Read More
6 FEB 2023 - Statements by Members - Hon Darren Chester (NAT) - Member for Gippsland
The contempt of banking executives towards regional Australia is well known, with more than 1,600 branches closing in the past six years. In Gippsland, we've experienced dozens of closures in our smaller towns, but now Westpac is going a step further.
Forget about crooks wearing balaclavas; the real bank robbers are the executives making decisions in city boardrooms. These corporate bank-robbers are robbing country towns of jobs, they're robbing vulnerable people of services and they're robbing regional Australia of growth opportunities.
Westpac has just announced it's closing a branch in the city of Sale, which is a town of more than 14,000 people and services a much larger agricultural region. It is a town which is a centre of economic activity in that central Gippsland region.
My advice to Westpac customers in Sale is this: wherever possible, move your business. Move your business to a bank that still has a branch in your town. It's time to teach these bankers a lesson. Take your money across the street. Refinance your home loan. If Westpac executives only want to focus on their own huge profits, it's time to hit them where it hurts. It's time for customers to stop being held to ransom. It's time for the corporate bank-robbers to receive a message. Move your money to another bank. Link to HANSARD
6 FEB 2023 - Statements by Members - Mr Colin Boyce (LNP) - Member for Flynn
Last week customers of Westpac's Kin Kora bank branch in Gladstone were notified that their local branch was closing. This bank branch closure joins over 550 branches that have been closed by the big four banks since January 2020. Bank branch closures have occurred all over the Flynn electorate in Central Queensland in communities such as Gladstone, Tannum Sands, Moura, Biloela, Theodore, Emerald, Springsure, Capella, Mundubbera, Gin Gin, Gayndah, Gracemere, Taroom, Wondai and Mount Morgan. Small towns like Moura have difficulty when they host their annual events, like the Moura Coal and Country Festival, so they have to hire ATMs to have EFTPOS available at the secretary's office. Theodore's Bulls'n'Barrels Bonanza hires two ATMs, as it can't use EFTPOS due to poor communications and internet reception. The same thing happened at Jambin's Australia Day ceremony. Too many people were trying to access the wi-fi, which crashed the system and left people unable to purchase anything.
On many occasions, the big banks have advertised for customers to use online services. While this may be viable for some people, I have serious concerns for our elderly and those who rely on local bank services. Constituents in some communities have to drive hours to visit their nearest bank branch because of branch closures. It is simply not good enough. It's time for the big banks to put their money where their mouth is and continue their banking services in rural Queensland. Link to HANSARD
6 FEB 2023 - Katter Australia Party - Mr Bob Katter - Member for Kennedy
8 Feb 2023 - Michael McCormack (NAT) – Banking and Financial Services - Closing branches throughout regional Australia
I've been communicating today with the Mayor of Junee Shire Council, Neil Smith, and the general manager, James Davis, about their ongoing concerns about the closure of that wonderful railway and now jail town's only bank. The Commonwealth Bank is set to close its doors. ... Link to HANSARD
8 Mar 2023 - 3AW Radio - Tom Elliott - How an Australia Post ‘bank’ could change financial landscape - Interview with Robert Barwick
3 Mar 2023 - WIN NEWS Toowoomba
The Finance Sector Union is calling on banks to have community consultation over branch closures in regional areas.
2 Mar 2023 - WIN NEWS Gippsland
Some of Australia's top banking executives have gone on the stand at the first Parliamentary Inquiry into regional bank closures.
3 Mar 2023 - Holly Hales news.com.au - Senate inquiry examines impact of bank branch closures in regional areas
The full impact of the closure of bank branches across regional Australia has been revealed in a Senate inquiry. ... Read On
2 Mar 2023 - DRIVE - ABC Radio National - What do you do when a bank closes?
Over the past five years 30 per cent of Australia's bank branches have shut. That's the focus of a federal inquiry which has begun today in Sale, in Victoria's Gippsland region. Guest: Darren Chester, Nationals member for Gippsland.
2 Mar 2023 - ABC News - The Business - Banks told to put people before profits amid regional closures
Australia's big four banks are being asked to put people before profits when it comes to the closure of regional branches. Around a third of regional branches have closed in the past five years, leaving many Australians without vital services.
22 Feb 2023 - Ch.10 THE PROJECT - Community Tries To Save Its Only Bank As Banks Turn Huge Profits
Earlier this month, the Senate announced an enquiry into banning closures affecting rural and regional communities. One NSW town says enough is enough as they fight to save their town's banks.
Bank closures in regional areas are at crisis levels and now there'll be a major investigation into the issue, for the first time in almost two decades. pic.twitter.com/ntL06LPetd
— 7NEWS Border (@7NEWSBorder) February 13, 2023
"Save our bank" is the cry ringing out across Junee in the Riverina, as the last one in the town prepares to close within weeks. @lizziepearl #9News pic.twitter.com/zMKYBJS96X
— 9News Sydney (@9NewsSyd) February 12, 2023
2 Mar 2023 - Oliver Jacques Region Riverina - Push for return of government bank after spate of regional branch closures
There is a renewed push for the Federal Government to re-establish its own public bank that could provide services to small towns that have lost their last financial institution. ... Read On
2 Mar 2023 - Daniel Ziffer and Georgia Lenton-Williams ABC NEWS - A third of the nation's bank branches have shut in the past five years—for people in the country, that's a huge problem
Despite soaring profits for Australia's big four banks, that number in the billions, almost one-in-three of their branches have closed in the past five years and now a parliamentary committee is examining the impact of those closures, especially on regional centres. ... Read On
1 Mar 2023 - Emily Middleton The Guardian - The Australian towns where the nearest bank branch is nearly 1,000km away
With nearly 100 regional branches either closed or soon to close, getting to the bank is becoming increasingly difficult for Australians in remote areas. If you are a Westpac customer in the town of Kununurra, Western Australia, you now need to cross the border and travel almost 1,000km to your nearest branch. ... Read On
28 Feb 2023 - The Conversation Hour - ABC Radio Melbourne - How important is it to have a bank branch in your community?
A Senate inquiry into rural and regional bank closures was announced after the closure of 100 regional bank branches since September 2022. The first hearing is to be held in Sale, Victoria in March. The inquiry will look at the economic and welfare impacts of losing banks in regional Australia, as well as the process banks are following to close branches and the reasons being given.
23 Feb 2023 - SA Greens - Hon Robert Simms raises a Motion in the SA Parliament concerning Regional Bank Closures
22 Feb 2023 - SA Greens - Member Robert Simms asks a Question about Regional Bank Closures in the SA Parliament
17 Feb 2023 - Ngaarda Media - Senate Inquiry into bank closures across Australia
There have been 92 bank branches closed or announced to close since September. Some of these banks are the only ones in the towns for hundreds of kilometres. ... Read On
17 Feb 2023 - Eliza Sayon Public Spectrum - Westpac defies Senate request on postponing regional bank closure
Seven more regional banks are expected to close this month, leaving regional communities to lose their only bank unless Westpac does not postpone their closure. ... Robert Barwick, Research Director of the Australian Citizens Party which campaigned very hard for the inquiry, asked whether it was acceptable to Prime Minister Albanese and Treasurer Jim Chalmers that the banks defy a Senate inquiry. ... Read On
15 Feb 2023 - Ch.9 TODAY SHOW - 'What's happened to customer care?' : Frustrated Karl hits out at 'disgraceful' banks - Interview with Finance Sector Union secretary, Julia Angrisano
The big banks of Australia have been accused of putting profit before people after hundreds of branch closures in both regional communities and metropolitan areas. ATM numbers have also dropped as bank bosses steer branches to push customers to online services instead. But despite this cost-cutting approach to the business, the big banks are tipped to make a $30 billion profit this year. ... Read On or Watch on 9Now website
14 Feb 2023 - Ch.9 TODAY SHOW - Karl unleashes on big banks as regional closures soar - Interview with Cloncurry Mayor, Greg Campbell
Karl Stefanovic has blasted the big banks after news another branch is set to close its doors, leaving a regional community in the lurch. Today has confirmed 92 banks across the country have shut their doors or announced closure notices since September last year. ... Read On or Watch on 9Now website
14 Feb 2023 - Sarah Sharples news.com.au - Westpac to close 20 branches across NSW, Qld, Victoria and SA
The major bank has been criticised for making a “brazen” decision and accused of “abandoning customers”. ... Its latest move could see up to 91 jobs cut, with Finance Sector Union national secretary Julia Angrisano saying Westpac had closed large numbers of branches over the past year. ... Read On
14 Feb 2023 - 2BG Radio - Ray Hadley - More banks to close across Australia as profits soar
14 Feb 2023 - 3AW Radio - Neil Mitchell - More than a dozen Victorian bank branches to close in coming months
14 Feb 2023 - 2GB Radio - The Ray Hadley Morning Show - More on Westpac Bank Branch Closures [Starts at 28:55]
13 Feb 2023 - John Kehoe AFR - CBA heeds Senate demand, pauses regional branch closures -
Banks are under political pressure to follow Commonwealth Bank of Australia’s decision to pause regional bank closures while a parliamentary inquiry is held this year. ... The Australian Citizens Party, which wants the government to set up a public bank similar to New Zealand’s Kiwibank, lobbied MPs and senators to establish the inquiry. ... Read PDF of newspaper clipping or Read more online (Note: article is behind paywall)
13 Feb 2023 - 2GB Radio - The Ray Hadley Morning Show - Interview with Robbie Katter on Westpac closure of Cloncurry Branch [Starts at 1:30:25]
12 Feb 2023 - 9 News National - 'Save our bank': NSW town's last bank closes as raft of regional branches shut up shop
A parliamentary inquiry has been set up to look at the closure of bank branches across New South Wales regional and rural towns. ... Read Transcript (Video in Tweet Above)
11 Feb 2023 - Peter Goers The Adveriser (Adelaide) - Why do banks hate us? They need us—but keep shutting branches
What’s worse, opined a great poet, the man who robs a bank or the man who founds a bank? At least the robber knows he’s a criminal. Why do banks hate us? They need us and hate us. These endless... Read More (Note: article is behind paywall)
10 Feb 2023 - 6PR Radio - Oliver Peterson - Calls for the return of ‘public banks’ - Interview with Robert Barwick (Australian Citizens Party)
10 Feb 2023 - Patrick Durkin AFR - On the road with a postie in the dying days of snail mail
Australia Post’s CEO says letters are in “unstoppable decline” but the letters sector, unions and politicians like Pauline Hanson have other ideas. ... Australian Citizens Party Research Director Robert Barwick argues the solution to Australia Post’s financial pressure is a government post office bank. ... Read PDF of newspaper clipping or Read More (Note: article is behind paywall)
10 Feb 2023 - ABC Midwest & Wheatbelt - Parliamentary inquiry into regional banking to be held as branch closures continue
A parliamentary inquiry into regional bank closures will be held by the Senate, following the termination of hundreds of branches across the country. ... Read On
10 Feb 2023 - Euan Morrisson Burnett Today - Where have all the banks gone?
Hundreds of bank branches have been closing across the nation and the federal Senate will be soon asking ‘why?’ ... Katter’s Australian Party Leader and State Member for Traeger, Robbie Katter, said ... he wanted to see a Commonwealth Government-owned banking corporation established under a proposed Commonwealth Postal Savings Bank Bill 2023, which operated through post offices, separately from the Australian Postal Corporation. ... Read More
10 Feb 2023 - Nilsson Jones The Courier Mail - FULL LIST: Inquiry Committee urges banks to pause regional branch closures
A Queensland MP is urging regional Australians to abandon big banks who shut down local branches ahead of a Senate inquiry as we reveal almost 100 branches that have closed in recent months. ... Read On (Note: article is behind paywall)
9 Feb 2023 - Sarah Sharples news.com.au - Horror reality of bank branch closures across Australia
More and more Aussie towns now have no bank, and it’s causing huge issues for thousands of Australians. ... Read On
9 Feb 2023 - 2GB/4BC Radio - Banks abandoning the regions - Jessica Clancy interview with Robert Barwick (Australian Citizens Party)
9 Feb 2023 - 2GB Radio - Chris O’Keefe interviews Sen Gerard Rennick and Julia Angrisano (National Secretary, Finance Sector Union) [Starts at 43:13]
9 Feb 2023 - 2GB Radio – Deborah Knight interview with Anna Bligh (Australian Banking Association)
7 Feb 2023 - Junee Shire Media Release – Proposed Closure of Commonwealth Bank
The Junee Community continues its fight against the Commonwealth Bank decision to close it Branch in Junee on 3 March 2023. Junee Shire Council will continue to advocate on behalf of the community for this decision to be overturned and has written to Federal Parliamentarians requesting action. Read the open letter PDF here.
Junee Shire Council is calling for the consideration of a Parliamentary Inquiry into Bank service levels in rural, regional, and remote Australia, together with the immediate suspension on all listed Bank Branch closures at the February 2023 Parliamentary sitting. ... Read Media Release
5 Feb 2023 - About Regional - Big Four 'abandoning rural towns': Junee fights back as town loses only bank
Junee Shire Council is fighting back against the Commonwealth Bank of Australia’s (CBA) decision to close the last remaining financial institution in its town. ... Read On
5 Feb 2023 - Sunraysia Daily - Robinvale loses another bank
ROBINVALE is set to lose another bank after Westpac announced its closure, only two months after ANZ said it would be shutting its outlet. Robinvale will be left with only a Commonwealth Bank branch when Westpac closes on May 12 and ANZ goes on May 18. ... Read On (Note: article is behind paywall)
4 Feb 2023 - The Adveriser (Adelaide) - Coober Pedy’s ATMs run out of cash – and its only bank is about to
Coober Pedy was left without cash when its ATMs ran dry this week. And locals fear its going to get worse when its only bank closes within weeks. ... Read On (Note: article is behind paywall)
3 Feb 2023 - 7NEWS Cairns - Twitter News Clip
The Katter's Australian Party has slammed a decision by Westpac to shut three of its North Queensland branches. ... Watch on Twitter
3 Feb 2023 - Townsville Bulletin - Westpac Ingham, Tully, Cloncurry branches to close in latest bank to close in rural North Queensland
Banking giant Westpac has “abandoned” regional Queensland after the shock closure of a key rural branch, Katter’s Australia Party says.
“As unfortunate as this latest announcement is, it adds more credibility to the KAP’s argument to introduce a people’s bank to take up the void left in the regions.” ... Read On (Note: article is behind paywall)
1 Feb 2023 - Yahoo Finance AU - CBA closing last branch in small town but residents are fighting back
The town of Junee will lose its only bank when Commonwealth Bank closes its doors in March. ... Read On
31 Jan 2023 - WIN News Riverina - VIDEO - Junee could lose its only bank
Business owners and council are calling for a moratorium on bank closures and a parliamentary inquiry into whether the banks' self-regulation is in the best interest of communities. ... Watch Now
31 Jan 2023 - Ch.9 TODAY SHOW - VIDEO - Small town's only bank set to close its doors for good
Thousands of residents in a regional NSW community could soon be left with no bank branch in town with the last Commonwealth Bank set to close its doors for good in March. ... Watch Video
31 Jan 2023 - AAP - Towns putting up a fight as banks close
The Riverina town of 6500 is locked in a David and Goliath fight with the Commonwealth Bank, which announced it was closing Junee's last bank in September. ... Read On
28 Jan 2023 - New Norfolk and Derwent Valley News - Push for public post office bank goes to council meeting
AUSTRALIAN towns were facing a banking crisis and the Derwent Valley Council should back the call for a post office bank, last month’s council annual general meeting heard. ... Read On
10 Jan 2023 - The Naracoorte Herald - The steady closure of banks and diminishing face-to-face branch services is the beginning of the end?
Bank closures in country South Australia are heralding the inevitable - no branches within the next decade, Opposition leader David Speirs says. ... Read On
5 Jan 2023 - Nassim Khadem ABC News - Australians are hoarding more banknotes but how far away is a cashless society in a digital world?
For many migrant communities across Australia, cash is still king. ... Read On
3 Jan 2023 - The Weekly Times - Regional bank closures: Junee mounts a fight against CBA branch shutting
Junee is rallying other towns to join in the fight against rural bank closures after securing a three-month stay of execution for its last remaining bank. ... Read On (Note: article is behind paywall)
3 Jan 2023 - Junee Shire Media Release – Proposed Closure of Commonwealth Bank
The Junee Shire Council Mayor Neil Smith said the bank closure was pushed back to March 3, after they found CBA did not give the appropriate amount of notice. ... Read On
28 Dec 2022 - The Weekly Times - Bush banks closing at alarming pace
Rural bank closures have accelerated in the past three months, independent research has found. ... Read On (Note: article is behind paywall)
21 Dec 2022 - ABC Illawarra (Radio) - Interview with banking expert Martin North on the regional branch closures
This is a radio segment from ABC Illawarra where Martin North discussed the branch closure issue, his recent research, and why the big banks are putting up a digital smokescreen story to cover deep cost cutting, despite the focus on regional branch closures which will strangle local communities. Watch/Listen to Interview on YouTube
19 Dec 2022 - ABC 730 - VIDEO - Australian towns are fighting to hold on to their local bank branches
While growing numbers of Australians are doing their banking online, for many isolated regional communities, the local bank remains a vital service. ... Watch Video
2 Dec 2022 - The Echo (Byron Bay) - Editorial – Wokie dokey
Last Thursday’s Council meeting was an example of when a good idea gets kiboshed because the people proposing the idea are considered crazy conspiracy theorists. ... Read On
28 Nov 2022 - ABC North and West SA - Westpac closure leaves SA's Coober Pedy 'high and dry' without a bank, with closest facility six hours away
The remote town of Coober Pedy, which relies on large amounts of cash for its opal mining and tourism industry, is set to lose its only bank next year. ...Read On
14 Oct 2022 - The Daily Advertiser - Councillor Richard Foley to propose council support plans for government-owned bank at council meeting
A Wagga councillor is calling for a public bank to be established by the federal government in response to unrelenting regional bank branch closures. ... Read On (Note: article is behind paywall)
3 Sept 2022 - The Canberra Times - Momentum gathering for post office bank in wake of the Banking Royal Commission
In highly corporatised Japan, an odd and unusual phenomenon exists within its finance sector. It's called the Japan Post Bank; a government-run banking system based within the country's 24,000 post offices and for over 147 years, one of the largest, most stable and respected financial institutions in the world. ... Read On (Note: article is behind paywall)
What you can do
This grassroots campaign is absolutely a fight we can win, not least because a postal bank is already a popular idea in Australia.
In Parliament it is supported by Katter’s Australian Party (KAP), Pauline Hanson’s One Nation (PHON), the Greens, and likely the National Party (at least most Nationals). Prominent members of both the Labor and Liberal parties also support the policy. The post office unions, including the Communications Workers Union (CWU) and its parent the Communications, Electrical, and Plumbers Union (CEPU), support a postal bank, as do the LPOs represented by the Licensed Post Office Group. See further information for more details of this support.
The goal of this campaign is to unite the existing support, and recruit more support, around the Commonwealth Postal Savings Bank Bill, to make this a front-line political issue and get the bill passed. It is up to the citizens of Australia to spread the word and build the support. This is how you can help:
1. Get this information into your community. Click on the image to Download PDF for printing or attaching to email.
Call 1800 636 432 if you would like to order physical copies and have them sent to you.
Some suggested places you can take one the information:
- Local post offices
- Local Federal and State Members of Parliament
- Local Councils and Chambers of Commerce
- Union representatives
- Community leaders, clubs and organisations
- Local businesses, especially those operating in shopping strips or immediate proximity to their local post office or in areas that have lost their local bank/s
- Anyone who values and relies on their local post office, especially their banking services.
2. Contact Elected Representatives
- Call and email your Federal MP and Senators. You can find their contacts details from the Parliament website. Tell them to support Bob Katter’s bill for a public pos office bank.
- Ask local representatives and organisations to endorse the Commonwealth Postal Savings Bank Bill by passing a motion/resolution similar to the ones discussed in Recruit your community—Local Government Resolutions.
3. Sign and share petition: An Australia Post ‘people’s bank’—a win-win solution for the nation