Representatives from almost 4500 organisations gathered at Orange Credit Union for the second meeting of the Regional Banking Taskforce on Wednesday.
Member for Calare Andrew Gee said bank branch closures has been a huge issue right across the region and the taskforce was in town "to hear first hand about the devastating effect" the bank closures were having on the region, particularly among older residents and businesses.
Mr Gee said the taskforce was established because country community had been crying out for action and attention to the issue. He said since the start of the COVID pandemic more than 300 bank branches across Australia have closed or are planned to be closed.
It includes closures in Gilgandra, Nyngan and Narromine.
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Mr Gee said something needed to be done to make banking sustainable and do something to keep banking in country areas and the banks and Australia Post would be part of the conversation.
"The reality is that this region is prosperous and that even in these locations where bank branches are closing, the banks are still making profits and the only reason that these branches are closing is because the banks can make more profits by closing them by cutting back face-to-face banking, by driving people online," Mr Gee said.
"They are closing these branches simply so they can make more money and make more profit and if you look at the profits they are making at the moment, look at their stock prices.
"The people and the communities that are paying for it are country communities all around our region, and all around country Australia and that's the cold-hard truth."
He said the closures had a devastating effect particularly on senior Australians many of whom he said don't do internet banking.
"A lot of those seniors also aren't mobile, so when branches close in smaller communities people are forced to travel to larger communities," he said.
"It has a huge effect on businesses as well because when businesses need to do their banking they have to take their daily takings for example into larger communities and there are security issues with that."
Taskforce co-chairwoman Senator Perin Davey also said removing banks from small communities took money out of those towns affecting businesses as well as groups such as sports clubs that need a cash float.
"Branches are closing in urban areas too but the impact is not as great," she said.
"In a small town when a bank closes if a business needs to travel to bank their takings or to get a float they will drive the 50 to 20 kilometres to the closest branch, they will get their cash, we are still a cash society, they will get a coffee, they will buy lunch, they will do the groceries, that's all money that has left their local town and gone to the next town.
"What were are now focusing on is what do we do about it? How do we provide those services that a branch provides in a town where a branch structure is no longer viable."
Another meeting is planned for late January in another regional community and the taskforce will call for more submissions between now and then.