NEARLY 30 years after it was created, Legal Aid NSW has opened its first office in Albury.
The service for disadvantaged citizens in need of legal assistance has previously relied on its Wagga-based lawyers to cater to the Border.
The new office is on the first floor of the Johnsons MME building in Swift Street, opposite the Albury Entertainment Centre.
Albury MLA Greg Aplin and Legal Aid NSW’s deputy chief executive officer Steven O’Connor unveiled signage in the foyer to mark the opening which was attended by Albury mayor Henk van de Ven.
"It's absolutely brilliant to have an office where people can walk in and access service and advice," Mr Aplin said.
"I am particularly pleased to hear about plans by Legal Aid NSW to work closely with Victoria Legal Aid and the Hume Riverina Community Legal Service, so residents from both sides of the border have somewhere to turn to get useful help."
Legal Aid NSW chief executive Bill Grant said the Albury and Wagga offices would be under the banner of Legal Aid Riverina Murray.
"This will allow us to see the entire Riverina Murray as one region, and plan our services, not just with our partners, but also with our Wagga-based colleagues across the region," Mr Grant said.
"It will allow us to focus on what works best for this unique region."
The solicitor in charge of Legal Aid Riverina, Murray Nicole Dwyer, said three practitioners, each specialising in either family, criminal or civil law, would be based alongside two clerical staff.
Former Pogson Cronin associate Dione Garwell has been appointed the family specialist.
Ms Dwyer expected the other two solicitor roles to be filled by the end of August.
Family law advice will by available each Wednesday, by appointment, from next week with the office open Monday to Friday.
Legal Aid NSW was formed in 1987 under the name Legal Aid Commission of NSW after state and federal services merged.
The NSW government first moved to offer the poor representation in serious criminal cases in 1941 with the formation of the Public Defender’s Office.