Open letter to Westpac
I am writing to express my concern at the lack of a Westpac presence in my hometown.
In October 1963, I opened an account with the Bank of NSW (now Westpac) and have banked (with you) for almost 55 years. I am a veteran and have a rating of Exceptional Disability Adjustment, as a result of the Vietnam War, where I was second in charge of an infantry company. My wife is also disabled.
Despite increasing population, Westpac closed its branch in Narooma, providing instead a minuscule space at a florist at the Plaza. This was not a good move for many. Then, God forbid, this space was taken away. An ATM remained. It is extremely difficult to comprehend why facilities were taken away from a mainly elderly population. You have effectively and detrimentally taken advantage of a population which has stayed with your bank during its hard times.
Not only do we have to visit our nearest Westpac branch to solve problems, we must drive to Batemans Bay (a round trip of 134km) or Bega (152km) to do so. As the carer of my wife, I cannot leave her alone. (A recent issue with cards) left us in the very upsetting position of suddenly not being able to withdraw cash or pay for groceries. A call advised us that nothing could be done without a personal visit to a branch. Please advise what you can do to help people such as myself avoid a similar distressing situation in the future.
Michel Le Bars
Local government bank?
If Eurobodalla Shire Council and councillors are going to get involved in the current Narooma NAB closure matter (Narooma News online), they need to develop a community-supported business plan to present as a report at a council meeting, so genuine community discussions and involvement can occur.
The plan could involve discussions with all NSW regional and rural councils on the basis they collectively ran and operated their own banks, investing in and supporting local communities. Deregulation of the financial sector has caused all sorts of regional and rural problems, as well as economic instability in rural and regional NSW.
What a nice impression tourists must get on driving through Narooma, whilst on the Princes Highway near the Plaza, there has been for a number of weeks, a car that has gradually been wrecked.
The tyres that had been propping it up now have gone. Whose responsibility is this and why has it been left there so long?
Now we know our ABC?
Our ABC is under fire again; this time by a resolution to sell off this national asset at one of the major political parties’ state conference.
Often we hear the cost of the ABC being expressed as an amount per day per head of population – currently it’s about 11 cents – and when thinking about this approach, it wouldn’t be a bad way for the costs of all of our government departments and services to be expressed.
How much do you reckon we are paying for our politicians? While they talk about their favoured policies costing “just a cup of coffee per week” or similar, it’s unlikely they would want the costs of their decisions to be easily understood in case the citizenry might better gauge which expenditure is of value and, more pertinently, which isn’t.
Even more embarrassing might be for us to know how much of allocations to departments are consumed by the bureaucracy and how much is spent on coal-face service delivery … we couldn’t have that, could we?