South West Coast MP Roma Britnell says changes to government banking policy for health services will have a detrimental impact on local community bank branches.
Mrs Britnell said the Central Banking System policy would have negative impacts at Heywood, where Heywood Rural Health will be required to move money from the Heywood Community Bank to a centralised fund.
She said the idea of centralised banking for government agencies made sense in some ways, but it should not come at the expense of small communities.
“Once again this is a sign the Andrews Labor Government is focused solely on the city and not supporting small rural communities,” Mrs Britnell said
“The Heywood Community Branch of the Bendigo Bank is the only bank in town, and the health service is one of its biggest customers.
“If the health service was to take its banking elsewhere, this would likely compromise the braches viability.
“I’m told if the health service were to move its banking elsewhere, the branch would be $26,000 worse off per annum. This would reduce the branch’s ability to support community events and organisations.
“It could even lead to its closure.
“The health service would also miss out on the interest their investment generates, about $30,000 per annum. This money is vital to the hospitals balance sheet, and to date, there is no guarantee from the Andrews Labor Government that they will give the money back to the hospital
Mrs Britnell said it was another example of Government policy implemented with little consultation or consideration for potential consequences like what could be seen in Heywood.
“I would urge the community to rally against this decision and support the Health Service as it navigates this issue, so it can continue supporting the community it serves.”