Moura's ANZ branch has been hit by staff shortages. Photo Andrew Thorpe / Central Telegraph
Moura's ANZ branch has been hit by staff shortages. Photo Andrew Thorpe / Central Telegraph Andrew Thorpe

Residents fear for town's future after bank closures

IT'S a heartbreaking truth throughout Queensland, as banks close up permanently, leaving our smallest towns and businesses to struggle.

On Tuesday, the heartbreak was ever present in Moura as the town's last bank shut up shop for the final time.

With not a moment to waste, the signage was removed, leaving local residents an hours' drive away from their closest bank, in Biloela.

The effects of the closure of the Central Queensland ANZ branch will also be felt by Rolleston and Bauhinia residents, who also used the bank.

It comes as another blow to the region with the The Rock Financial Institution also closing branches in Moura, Biloela and Baralaba.

Moura resident of 44 years Marie Cherry (pictured) said there was upset in the town over another bank closure.

The pensioner who is also caring for her husband, a retired coal miner, is worried the effect the closure will cause businesses to leave town also.

"As an elderly pensioner with a very sick husband, I need health facilities and local businesses to continue in this town. "I am getting to a stage where having to drive the 140km round trip to Biloela or the approximately 400km round trip to Rockhampton is beyond me."

Marie, who raised her three children in Moura, said the town had already lost trade over the closure of the Gibihi Rd which had increased people's travelling time.

"I believe many local businesses are already feeling the strain of losing trade from the other side of the Gibihi Rd and some will flounder with the increased costs of freight and having to travel to get cash," Marie said.

"With the bank's closure, we will now lose the Bauhinia people, if they have to go to Biloela to bank they will shop in Biloela too."

Marie who has shopped locally all the years she has lived in Moura said she feels "cheated" over the closure.

"I have volunteered in heaps of organisations like schools, footy, swimming, Ambulance, lawn bowls and QCWA when it existed," she said.

"I feel cheated that the powers that be can ruin my town with no consideration for what my family has contributed over the years. "I also have sympathy for local businesses that are struggling and for business owners who have their capital invested in their businesses."

ANZ advised there was a noticeable decrease in foot traffic at the branch of more than 32 per cent over the last four years and after a detailed review they decided to close the branch.

"Of our customers who have Moura as their home branch, only nine per cent of them currently use the branch with 71 per cent of them preferring online options such as internet or mobile banking," an ANZ spokesperson said previously.

"Only 13 per cent of all our home loan customers in Moura have used the branch with 87 per cent opting for mobile brokers to help them with this important financial decision."

The closure will leave staff members out of a job, but ANZ reassured the community they would make every effort to find redeployment opportunities.

Customers can use the Bank@Post facilities located at Moura Post Office and the ATM will remain in its current location.