Drysdale Community Bank® Branch
The Portarlington Community Bank® Branch of Bendigo Bank has been operating since 30 October 1999 and the Drysdale sub-branch has been operating since 1 April 2007. The Company decided to enter into arrangements with Bendigo Bank under which they acquired rights to manage and operate an additional Community Bank® branch of Bendigo Bank‚ to be established in Drysdale. They consequently launched a prospectus in November 2008 to enable the local community members to purchase shares in the company that will officially covert the sub branch to a full Community Bank® branch in January 2009.
Portarlington Community Bank® Branch
The establishment of a Community Bank® in Bellarine in November 1999 was an important step in the process of being “discovered by Melbourne” Community Bank® chairperson Ann Nichol said.
“The people of Melbourne are starting to discover Portarlington‚ and I believe that in the next decade we are headed for a boom in tourism. The presence of financial services has helped prepare us for this‚ and the fact that it is community-operated is even better.”
With a permanent residential population of 2400‚ this figure can swell to around 22‚000 during the summer holiday season.
To get the “ball rolling”‚ on October 28‚ 1998 a Working Committee of the Portarlington Development Association took the initiative to make contact with the Bendigo Bank. Over the next couple of months‚ public meetings were held to establish sufficient interest within the community. Attendance numbers at these meetings were between three and six hundred‚ which was a fair indication of the level of support that would be received.
Approximately one year after initial inquiries were made‚ the Bellarine Community Bank® branch opened encouragingly with over 500 people attending. Mrs Nichol said that the public was very impressed with the quality of the fit-out of the Branch and the helpfulness of staff.
“It seems to be a focal point of conversation concerning our bank. Everyone comments on the high quality of staff and how the branch is such a ‘happy place’ to go into‚” Mrs Nichol said.
“A fair degree of community pride has been established within residents. This concept of ownership does bring with it a sense of involvement and commitment".
“The next decade is set to be quite exciting if the positive feeling around at the moment is anything to go by. People are becoming much more aware and interested in property in the area‚ which will make Portarlington a significantly marketable area.