House of Representatives Speech- Isaacs Electorate: Community Bank 2010

I rise today to speak about the opening of an important business for the Aspendale Gardens and Edithvale area, which is the community bank at Aspendale Gardens Shopping Centre. The opening of the Bendigo Community Bank in Aspendale Gardens has been a long time coming, with a grassroots campaign run for around four years by the local community to secure the $710,000 investment required from shareholders to get the bank off the ground. After seeing the stalls set up at the Aspendale Gardens Shopping Centre seeking shareholders whenever I regularly do my mobile offices there and closely following the race to raise the funds, it was particularly pleasing to hear that the community secured the required investment by the January deadline.

—I rise today to speak about the opening of an important business for the Aspendale Gardens and Edithvale area, which is the community bank at Aspendale Gardens Shopping Centre. The opening of the Bendigo Community Bank in Aspendale Gardens has been a long time coming, with a grassroots campaign run for around four years by the local community to secure the $710,000 investment required from shareholders to get the bank off the ground. After seeing the stalls set up at the Aspendale Gardens Shopping Centre seeking shareholders whenever I regularly do my mobile offices there and closely following the race to raise the funds, it was particularly pleasing to hear that the community secured the required investment by the January deadline.

The official opening of the branch on Friday, 14 May was certainly a grand affair, with several performances by talented students from the Aspendale Gardens Primary School, who run an excellent music program, and a huge turnout from the local community. Former St Kilda coach, VFL star and local resident Stan Alves officially opened the branch, which is now open weekdays and on Saturday mornings. Importantly, this bank will secure branch banking services for the local community with an ATM at the Edithvale shops.

As a long-time supporter of the project to bring a community bank to the area that will share profits equally between shareholders, Aspendale Gardens and the Edithvale community, I congratulate all involved in bringing this project to fruition. I also wish the best of luck to the local branch manager Russell Mactaggart.

On another matter, I recently went to the Richfield Retirement Village in Aspendale Gardens to discuss the federal budget with local residents. It was a great opportunity to talk about the changes being made to simplify the tax system, about how the Rudd government is reforming the health and hospital systems and about how the resource super profits tax would help better use super profits from our resources to boost compulsory superannuation to 12 per cent, reduce tax for small business and build vital national infrastructure. While some residents at Richfield told me that they have shares in mining companies—and we had quite a long discussion about superannuation funds—it was clear to me that residents at Richfield understood the importance of the mining industry, which uses non-renewable resources that belong to the Australian people to make massive profits, giving back by paying its fair share in tax.

I must also thank Ray Neal, a long-time resident of Noble Park but now a resident of the Richfield Retirement Village, who invited me to speak to the residents. I also thank the management of the Richfield Retirement Village, who are always accommodating in providing a venue for me to discuss important local issues with the residents.