The ANZ Bank has responded to my request for reconsideration of its decision to close the Ingham branch.
The bank has indicated that whilst it is very conscious of the impact on customers, its decision to close the branch was made due to the number of customers using the branch declining as people take up digital and mobile banking options. The bank has informed Council that its decision to close will not be reconsidered. I therefore remain of the opinion that customers should consider changing banks with a view to supporting the banks that continue to support our district. I do not resolve from that view, however it has been very disturbing to hear that staff members at the bank are being abused by customers regarding the decision to close. As you would no doubt appreciate, the staff members whom are mostly all locals to this district, are not responsible for the decision made by the bank to close, and therefore should not be ill-treated in any manner. Please respect the staff.
Whilst on this point, I would like to take the opportunity to urge support for the small businesses in our community by buying locally. Internet buying as well as out of town spend is hurting. Small business is actually the largest employer in Australia and it is small business that creates the jobs for our people and more importantly our younger generation. Without small business, the number of jobs available will significantly decrease. It should also be noted that small business contributes significantly to our community and sporting organisations through sponsorship. Without such sponsorship, sporting and other community associations would struggle to the detriment of our children and the community as a whole. I am encouraging you to support our local business to ensure the survival and sustainability of small businesses in our district.
In practicing what we preach, I am pleased to say that this Council, over the past two years, has significantly amended its trading practices to ensure that locals are provided with the opportunity and incentive to provide for Council’s purchasing needs at all times. As a result, local spend has increased significantly.
If you have any concerns regarding Buy Local practices or processes, please contact either Council or the Hinchinbrook Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Tourism to discuss such matters as if there are issues identified, we can work together as a community to address same for the betterment of all concerned.