THE push for a community bank at Woodburn has been given a boost, with the Richmond Valley Council assigning term deposits valued at about $2 million to the proposed local branch.
The Mid Richmond Community Bank Project has also surpassed its pledge target of $600,000 and is sitting at about $615,000.
"Whilst it has been a lengthy process, have no doubt our community bank project is alive and well," the project's Daniel Simpson said.
"Richmond Valley Council helped us greatly by putting some money on term deposit with Bendigo Bank, and they offered us $2000 toward the cost of the feasibility study."
Mr Simpson said the project committee was waiting to hear from Bendigo Bank before it could proceed to the next step in the project, to commission the feasibility study.
He said the study would be completed by a person independent of the project and of Bendigo Bank to assess whether the bank would be viable in the area.
"We would love to have the feasibility study completed by Christmas," Mr Simpson said.
"Once that is complete and, assuming it is favourable, then we would be looking at launching a prospectus in the new year with a view to opening the branch mid-next year."
Council general manager John Walker said Bendigo Bank paid good interest and the term deposits were triple-A rated investments.
"It was relatively easy for us because Bendigo Bank is already a bank we invest with," Mr Walker said.
"We were encouraged by the fact they had achieved the first milestone, which was $600,000 of pledges, and we believed we should support it in the next step.
"It would be great if Woodburn had a bank."