The Crest of the Commonwealth of Australia Treasury Portfolio Ministers
Picture of Wayne Swan

Wayne Swan

Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer

3 December 2007 - 27 June 2013

1 December 2012

Launch of fairer deal on ATMs for remote indigenous communities

Joint media release with
The Hon Jenny Macklin MP
Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs
Minister for Disability Reform

The Gillard Government welcomes the launch today of a new initiative by the Australian banking industry and two major independent ATM companies to provide free transactions at 79 ATMs across very remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. 

This important new program will help overcome the serious disadvantage faced by people in very remote Indigenous communities who often have to pay frequent ATM fees because they cannot access the type of ordinary banking services which most other Australians take for granted.

This initiative will mean remote Indigenous communities in the NT, Queensland, Western Australia and South Australia will get a fairer go in terms of ordinary banking services.

Indigenous people and residents living in very remote communities often rely on a single ATM located in a community store owned by an independent ATM company to access their cash and check their account balance.  

This important initiative follows the recommendations from a joint Treasury/Reserve Bank of Australia Taskforce that looked into issues relating to ATM fees and the cost of ATM access in very remote Indigenous communities.

The start of this program today follows regulatory approval from the Reserve Bank of Australia and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

The Gillard Government welcomes the participation of fifteen banks in this initiative: ANZ, BankSA, Bank of Melbourne, Bankwest, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, BOQ, Citibank, Commonwealth Bank, HSBC, ING DIRECT, ME Bank, nab, St.George, Suncorp and Westpac.

The Government has also launched further support for remote ATM users through an information and education campaign building on its existing Financial Management Program network, and through the Australian Securities and Investment Commission's Indigenous Outreach Team.

The Government thanks the industry and the independent ATM companies for their goodwill and hard work in implementing a program to assist ATM users in very remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

A final list of sites is available on the Treasury's Competitive and Sustainable Banking System website.