It was with disappointment that I reported to the May meeting of Wycheproof VISION, that despite our best efforts the ANZ Bank would close on 1 June. The only concession made by the bank was that an ANZ staff member would visit Wycheproof fortnightly for three months after closure. The Bank Group expressed dismay to manager for North and South West Victoria region Mark Genua. The ANZ response and offer to the community is as follows: ‘…encouragement, to visit the Wycheproof branch, prior to the closure date of 1 June 2016 to discuss their personal banking needs and the options available to them using ANZ card-based accounts’; post closure of the branch ‘…an ANZ banker to visit Wycheproof fortnightly for three months on a trial basis’; and a proposal to hold ‘…a number of education sessions at the Wycheproof Community Resource Centre to help educate our customers in digital banking methods and financial literacy’. To assist small business customers, the letter states, ‘…we have recently increased the limit on cash deposits at Bank@Post from $3,000 to $5,000 per day and we are exploring options to use barcoded deposit slips to assist our small business customers’. The response came nine days before Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews was finally able to meet with bank representatives. Our appreciation to Mr Andrews for his interest and support has been forwarded via his advisor.
Consultant Mike Smith and Amanda Treadwell presented preliminary Broadway streetscape plans at a community meeting on Tuesday 24 May. The plans are on display at the Wycheproof Community Resource Centre (WCRC). The consultants have provided some drawings for a public park area outside the Senior Citizens Rooms which includes retaining the palm trees and options for shade, walking path, seating and planting in that area. The group emphasised the need for an improved and safe pedestrian crossing, the need for designated long-vehicle parking, assistance to improve the façade of shop fronts including paint and canvas awnings and improvements to the footpath along Broadway and access to shops that have a step. The consultants wish to know the community’s priorities as any streetscape works will be done gradually. A survey is available at the resource centre or on line at www.wycheproof.vic.au.
It was interesting and heartening to hear about the crime stats for our town and to meet our new police officer LsCons Darin Sheahan at the police forum on 17 May. There was also some good advice from Andrew Downes who is available to speak to groups about community initiatives, such as drug and alcohol programs.