Will Alstonville get its bank back?
LOCAL politicians are working hard to get Alstonville a bank but it appears the community will be without a face-to-face service for a while yet.
Previously, Alstonville had a Commonwealth Bank branch, however, that ceased operation in December 2019.
According to a DA lodged with the Ballina Shire Council there are plans to provide medical services from the former Commonwealth Bank building but Alstonville still remains without a bank.
Page MP Kevin Hogan said he had been working hard behind the scenes to try and deliver a bank to Alstonville.
"I wrote to six financial institutions on behalf of the residents of Alstonville, regarding the provision of face-to-face banking services," Mr Hogan said.
"I informed them that Alstonville, with a population of over 6000 residents, has lost their local bank branch … I relayed the community petition had gained over 2500 signatures," Mr Hogan said.
However, Mr Hogan said that while some banks are looking into the concept, there has been no indication that they will take up the proposal.
"They are currently doing or have done due diligence on the proposal," Mr Hogan said.
"None have come back saying they will proceed," Mr Hogan said.
Ballina MP Tamara Smith said that she was working to ensure communities like Alstonville maintained their access to community services, like banking.
"I continue to share the Alstonville community's disappointment about the closure of the Commonwealth bank branch in Alstonville," Ms Smith said
"The coronavirus pandemic has meant that banks everywhere have shut their doors and I'm working with our federal senators post the banking royal commission to see better community access to banking, particularly in regional areas," Ms Smith said.