Community bank for Beerwah?

By Lea Parkes

IN the past few years, the local banking landscape has changed significantly across the hinterland. With the closing of five bank branches, including both the ANZ and Suncorp branches at Beerwah and Maleny as well as the shutting down of Westpac at Beerwah, some locals have become frustrated by the lack of choice and reduced in-person banking services available in our communities.

Local businessperson and former Glasshouse Country Chamber of Commerce president Ursula Starkovsky has decided the time is right for the area to establish its own community bank and is calling on others to get involved with the process.

Ursula has been investigating how to establish a Heritage Bank community branch in one of our local townships.

First, she needs to get four or five interested individuals willing to become part of a steering group to help establish the project and gauge the viability of establishing a community branch. If this process is successful, then a public company is formed and registered, and capital of about $500,000 would need to be raised to fund the community’s share in the venture.

Investors would be able to invest a minimum of $100 to a maximum of $10,000.

Ursula is confident that a community bank would be enthusiastically supported by our local community, not just because it would provide another local banking option but because of the additional community benefit via the contribution of profits back into community groups and organisations.

If you would be interested in getting involved contact Ursula on 0459 995 979 or email