Director for services and international operations Michael Raper (left) and Red Crosws NSW executive director Lewis Kaplan announced that they will be relocating the regional Red Cross officer from Lismore to Kempsey.
Director for services and international operations Michael Raper (left) and Red Crosws NSW executive director Lewis Kaplan announced that they will be relocating the regional Red Cross officer from Lismore to Kempsey. Jay Cronan

Red Cross services to continue

DESPITE heated dialogue and a sea of scepticism, Red Cross management yesterday pledged services would continue in the area despite moving the regional office from Lismore to Kempsey.

Red Cross NSW executive director Lewis Kaplan and director for services and international operations Michael Raper defended the move, based on research showing Kempsey was alocation of more disadvantage than Lismore.

“We've used three different measures, including the Tony Vincent report, SEIFA and NATCEM, and Kempsey comes top of allof them. Lismore has less red lines across these,” Mr Kaplan said.

“Management wants us to focus on areas of deep intergenerational disadvantage.”

Despite the concerns of nearly 100 Red Cross members, government members and those using the services, Mr Kaplan and Mr Raper told a meeting at the Presbyterian Church in Lismore yesterday that only two positions would be affected by the move, the regional administrator and the regional manager, and both of these roles had been transferred to Kempsey.

“Our regional administrator, Lyndal Lee, had already announced her retirement, and our regional manager, Vahideh Hosseini, could have redeployed to Kempsey, but she didn't put in an application,” MrKaplan said.

Both Mr Kaplan and Mr Raper stressed that the relocation would have no effect on services on the Northern Rivers.

“The Telecross co-ordination will keep going, the blood service will continue, and we will sustain the Lismore branch tea rooms in the current premises or somewhere better,” Mr Kaplan said.

Mr Raper said that Red Cross wanted to increase service, governance and financial efficiency with the relocation, with an 18 per cent increase in services next year.

“We want more donor dollars to go to services and be a lean, mean, service delivery machine,” he said.

“Now the office here will be a Lismore office instead of a regional office.”



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