Jobs will be lost and access to services will go online, as Penrith’s local Trustee and Guardian services confirm their closure.
The Weekender understands four of the nine staff members at the Station Street office will be made redundant, and current services will be moved to Parramatta.
Jennifer Black, NSW Trustee and Guardian’s Communications Manager, said the changes to NSW Trustee and Guardian services are essential for two reasons.
“The current operating model limits our ability to meet the needs of our clients in a responsive and timely manner,” she said.
“If the changes are not made, the organisation will not be able to continue to deliver services as they stand today, nor meet the increase in demand from an ageing population.”
Under the new model, Penrith residents will only be able to access the service online, over the phone or by attending specially organised days planned in the area.
“We currently offer several hundred outreach events each year at our Plan Ahead Days or community education talks, held in local venues such as libraries or community centres,” she said.
“The public can book in advance to attend a Plan Ahead Day to make their will, power of attorney or enduring guardianship. This service will continue and expand in all areas of NSW.”
While more services will be available online, there are concerns for residents, especially the elderly, who do not have Internet access and cannot drive or catch public transport to Parramatta.
“Improving our online facilities is not at the expense of personal service – it is an additional benefit,” Ms Black said.
The NSW Trustee and Guardian has not confirmed a specific date for closure, but said between the next six to nine months.
The Service NSW office in High Street will also be able to help locals.