Bowraville's Chamber president is optimistic

Bowraville's Chamber of Commerce President Paul Nowland is quietly optimistic that solutions can be found that will see the little town's bcu branch reopen.

"We met with bcu's General Manager Mike Ribbens last week to make it clear to him how important the bank is to the town," Mr Nowland said.

"This closure is really hurting local businesses - bcu was the only bank in town and it was where businesses could easily bank and withdraw cash.

"Some businesses have to change their hours, closing earlier, so they can get to the bank.

"Add to this the loss of those customers who don't bank electronically and shop where they can bank. This means people are leaving town to shop - and the resulting revenue downturn for businesses is very evident."

He said the strong message from the businesses about the closure's impact was heard by Mr Ribbens, who thanked the Chamber for organising the meeting.

"They have since had their security staff checking the building and now we are awaiting the results of that review."

He said that bcu was taking the matter seriously and that keeping the channels of communication open between bcu and the community ensured solutions could be found and the community not forgotten.

Following the meeting bcu sent out a statement saying the Bowraville branch was temporarily closed on January 30 in response to an escalating number of security incidents that occurred in and around the store since late last year.

"This decision was not made lightly and was the direct result of bcu applying an appropriate duty of care for our staff and our members," a spokesperson said.

"We hold the welfare of our staff as a paramount concern while balancing that responsibility with serving our local members.

"We recognise the important role bcu play in the community and we are actively investigating options that would enable us to provide a workplace with the required level of staff security.

"We apologise again for the inconvenience to our local members and wish to reassure them that the resolution of this issue is our absolute priority."

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