Clermont ANZ one of the banks to close its doors earlier this year.
Clermont ANZ one of the banks to close its doors earlier this year. Grant Oswald

Can't bank on ATMs

WITH limited banking services available, Clermont residents are now having to "stock up” when they travel to surrounding towns.

Last weekend, Clermont hosted Battle of the Mines, a rugby league competition involving many players in surrounding towns.

On September 15, as crowds headed to Clermont, residents expressed to the community Facebook page their difficulties accessing cash from ATMs in town .

Junior Clermont Bears canteen volunteer Megan Mellor said if they hadn't provided Eftpos, a lot of people would have had difficulty purchasing food.

"It was a massive event hosting visiting teams from all over Central Highlands,” she said.

"The ladies running the canteen had put a lot of preparation into catering for the day, and if we hadn't had our own Eftpos available, which is unusual for a little footy canteen, we would have had all that food and so many people wouldn't have been able to purchase it because they said how they had such difficulty trying to find places in town to get cash out.”

Mrs Mellor said the unreliability of the ATMs was forcing families to "stock up” when they travelled to other towns.

"We've had to start getting larger quantities of cash out when we travel to Emerald and stash it at home,” she said.

"It's lots of little things like school events, like excursions and shows, tuckshop and little fundraisers that make it tricky now.”

Member for Burdekin Dale Last said the banking situation in rural towns was "simply not good enough”.

"In a country like Australia, it's not right that over 75per cent of people in some regions don't have access to a bank branch,” he said. "This has a massive effect on businesses and community groups who have to travel hundreds of kilometres for banking services that you find on every corner in the city.”

In a bid to improve banking facilities locally, MrLast is forming a submission to the banking royal commission.

To do this, he is collecting banking experiences via a survey, closing on September 23.

Submit your experiences to dalelast.com.au or on the Dale Last Facebook page.


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