Community bank concept moving forward

By Lea Parkes

BACK in September, GC&M News shared the vision of local businessperson and former Glasshouse Country Chamber of Commerce president Ursula Starkovsky who decided, with all the changes in the local banking landscape, the time was right for the area to establish its own community bank.

While our region is growing, the banks are leaving and we now have only two branches servicing the hinterland townships between Beerburrum and Mooloolah Valley.

Ursula has been calling on others to get involved with the process of working with the Heritage Bank to open our very own community bank.

She is pleased to advise that a steering committee, made up of members from a variety of professional backgrounds, has now been established.

The benefits of having our own local bank extend beyond the convenience of being able to access banking services locally. Once the bank becomes profitable (around 4-5 years from formation according to Heritage) 50% of the profit can be returned to the local community via grants to community groups.

Ursula said that once the branch was established, this could add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.

“It really works. The Heritage branch at Palmwoods returned more than $100,000 to local groups in 2021 alone,” she said.

The committee is keen to keep the project moving forward and is calling on the community to pledge support by investing, to cover the initial set up costs, between $100 and $10,000, which will be repaid over (at most) a 10-year period.

The committee is in the process of setting up a Facebook page, which it will promote through the Glasshouse Country Voice Facebook group, to keep locals interested in supporting the concept up to date.

If you would like to find out more about investing you can call Kyle Norgrove on 0491 180 952. You can make your pledge via email to with your name, mobile number and pledge (between $100 and $10,000) amount.