Major event: Parliament House forum on the public post office bank solution

- Citizens Party Media Release

Contact your MP and Senators to ask them or their staff to attend the forum for a briefing on the proposal and campaign for a public post office bank. See details below.

Notice: Public post office bank forum for politicians, advisors, and the media
When: Wednesday 7 September, midday to 1:00 PM
Where: Parliament House Canberra, Committee rooms, public access

A major event in the rapidly expanding campaign for a public post office bank in Australia will be held at Parliament House in Canberra on Wednesday 7 September at midday.

The Licensed Post Office Group (LPOG), which represents the interests of the almost 3,000 small business community post offices around Australia, will host a public forum in the Committee rooms to brief politicians, their advisors, the media, and stakeholders, on how a public post office bank would work.

All Australians who support a post office “people’s bank” are urged to contact their local MPs and Senators to ask them and/or their advisors to attend.

The forum will feature former New Zealand Cabinet Minister Matt Robson, who served in Helen Clark’s Labour Party-led Coalition government from 1999-2002, and whose party started NZ’s postal bank, called Kiwibank.

Mr Robson will give a firsthand account of why there was overwhelming popular support for Kiwibank, from New Zealanders sick of being gouged by the big private banks that are owned by Australia’s Big Four.

He will also talk about the early success of Kiwibank, and why it quickly became NZ’s most trusted banking brand.

Angela Cramp, Executive Director of the LPOG, will explain why the group supports a postal bank for the good of the community, but also for the ongoing financial viability of Australia Post and its LPOs.

Politicians who support the postal bank will also speak, including Bob Katter MP, who is preparing to introduce the Commonwealth Postal Savings Bank Bill into Parliament.

The forum will be attended by representatives of stakeholder groups which will benefit from a public postal bank, who will be available to answer questions.

A win-win solution

Establishing a government bank that operates through post offices would:

  • Increase banking competition in Australia and lift standards of conduct;
  • Guarantee access to face-to-face banking services for every community, individual, and small business;
  • Guarantee deposits;
  • Ensure cash availability and payments;
  • Lend to local small businesses and into local communities, including for infrastructure;
  • Support the financial viability of Australia Post and its licensed post offices;
  • Contribute to the nation’s economic development.

The campaign for a public post office bank for Australia has grown steadily over the past decade and is now really heating up.

Since 2014, the Communications Workers Union (CWU) branch of the Communications, Electrical and Plumbers Union (CEPU) has advocated for a postal bank.

In 2020 the CEPU commissioned Per Capita, the ALP-affiliated think tank, to write an excellent report, “Postbank: Filling a void, securing essential services”.

The LPO Group has also long supported a postal bank, as a win-win solution for Australia Post and the communities it serves.

As banking and postal services are both essential services, combining them, like many other countries have done, enables the bank to take advantage of the existing postal network to provide low-cost banking services, and generates extra revenue to support the ongoing provision of postal services.

The LPO Group were the strongest supporters of former Australia Post CEO Christine Holgate, who had inspected postal banking operations in countries like France, Switzerland, and India, and advocated it for Australia.

The current banking service Australia Post provides, Bank@Post, is only an agency service for the existing banks. It doesn’t add to competition in the banking system, and is in fact exploited by the banks, which are painfully reluctant to pay properly for the service. If they ever choose to withdraw from Bank@Post, as ANZ has, many communities would lose their last banking service, and post offices would lose crucial revenue.

A dedicated public post office “people’s bank” will solve that problem.

Across Australia, communities that are suffering from bank branch closures are also declaring their support for a postal bank.

Local councils are passing resolutions of support for the Katter bill, and writing to their local Members of Parliament to urge them to support it; on 25 August Cobar Shire Council in NSW became the most recent council to pass a resolution.

The post office bank forum next week in Parliament will be a major milestone in the campaign for this win-win solution for Australia.

Call your MP and Senators

The post office bank forum is an opportunity for politicians and their advisors, and the media, to be briefed on the policy and the Katter bill.

All Australians who support a post office bank should contact their local federal MP and the Senators from their state to ask them to attend.

Call them today and get a commitment they will attend, or send someone to attend the forum, so they fully understand the proposal before the Katter bill is introduced (forward them this message for the details).

Click here for the contact details of MPs and Senators.

Click here to sign the Citizens Party’s petition for a post office people’s bank.

Postal Savings Bank