March 10, 2016  |  Members statement

Heidelberg West Commonwealth Bank closure

I am very disappointed that tomorrow the Heidelberg West branch of the Commonwealth Bankof Australia, located at 8–10 The Mall, Heidelberg West, will close. I am very concerned that the closure of this branch will impact the long-term viability of The Mall and the livelihood of those many small businesses that rely on local residents to shop there when they visit the bank. I have also written, along with the federal member for Jagajaga, the Honourable Jenny Macklin, to the chief executive officer of the Commonwealth Bank, asking that they reverse this decision as a matter of urgency. The Commonwealth Bankrecently recorded a half yearly profit of $4.8 billion. Surely they can keep this branch at The Mall, Heidelberg West, open for our community.

There have been great efforts from people in the community to rally against this closure. On 23 February the Heidelberg Leader reported:

Centre manager Stavros Zikou said the branch closure was disappointing and a big loss for Heidelberg West.

‘From my observation, the bankis always very busy and I would be surprised if the 80-odd businesses in The Mall didn’t all use that branch’, he said. Mr Zikou said bankstaff knew the community well and catered to all its needs.

Along with our federal member, Jenny Macklin, I am also concerned that West Heidelberg is home to many elderly pensioners and low-income families who do not have the ability to travel to banksin adjacent suburbs and do not have access to internet banking. I want to say a huge thankyou to all those people in The Mall and across West Heidelberg who are fighting to retain our Commonwealth Bankbranch at The Mall. That fight will continue.