The NSW Government will transform NSW Trustee and Guardian (NSWTG) to secure its future and ensure vulnerable people get access to better service, Attorney General Gabrielle Upton and Member of the Legislative Council Natasha Maclaren-Jones announced today.
Ms Upton said the NSW Government will implement most of the recommendations of the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal’s (IPART) report as part of a comprehensive transformation of NSWTG.
“The findings of the IPART report are unequivocal; if NSWTG is to survive it must change. If nothing is done, vulnerable people will continue to receive sub-standard service and NSWTG will operate at a loss of approximately $45 million over the next three years,” Ms Upton said.
Mrs Maclaren-Jones said to secure its future and ensure clients get the service they deserve the NSW Government will be transforming NSWTG.
“If NSWTG is unsustainable we won’t be able to help anyone. This transformation will ensure its essential services are available to the people of NSW for decades to come, while reducing client fees on average and making it easier for people to access services online, over the phone or in person at either a NSWTG or Service NSW centre. Importantly, eligible pensioners will receive wills and powers of attorney for free,” Mrs Maclaren-Jones said.
NSWTG was created in 2009 with the merger of the Office of the Protective Commissioner and the Public Trustee of NSW. NSWTG helps vulnerable and disadvantaged people manage their financial affairs as well as provide alternative independent trustee and executor services.
In 2014, the NSW Government requested IPART review NSWTG’s fee structure to ensure it was fair and transparent. IPART found there were major issues with NSWTG’s financial sustainability and service quality. IPART recommendations included improving NSWTG’s fee structure and continuing the Community Service Obligation funding for low income people.
Imelda Dodds, CEO of NSWTG, said: “The transformation is a response to the needs of clients and will modernise the way in which we deliver services. Importantly, I want to assure people that they can be confident that NSWTG will keep their finances safe.”
Graeme Innes, former Disability Discrimination Commissioner, said: “This service is critical for vulnerable people with disabilities in NSW, and must remain sustainable. The proposed changes seek to achieve that, and also provide a smoother and more efficient service. This would be a good outcome for people with disabilities.”