THE Guardianship Tribunal has extended its control of a Lake Macquarie aged pensioner’s finances despite expert evidence he was capable of looking after himself.
The man renewed his call for an inquiry into the guardianship system and said he was yet to receive a reason for the tribunal’s decision weeks after the hearing.
The Newcastle Herald reported on the man’s case in April, but the NSW Guardianship Act has wide restrictions on publishing details of its activities, meaning the man was not able to identify himself, even though he wanted to.
The man, a widower with a girlfriend overseas, came under the control of the NSW Trustee and Guardian in March after he suffered a stroke the previous month.
His daughter had objected to him sending money overseas to his girlfriend and gave evidence in the original hearing, held by video link from Belmont Hospital.
That decision – against the man’s objections – gave the trustee control of his finances until June 22.
The man said a subsequent hearing on June 5 had extended the trustee’s control until December.
He said he had three friends, a social worker and his solicitor there in support, and two of the three expert reports handed to the tribunal recommended he resume control of his finances.
‘‘Even my daughter, who started this in the first place, told the tribunal by phone she no longer objected to me getting my finances back,’’ the man said.
He said the only report that went against him was by the same doctor who had supported the original orders.
‘‘Even the first time around his report said that my attention levels and memory and speaking were much the same as before my stroke and I’ve improved a lot since then,’’ the man said.
‘‘Then you look at his report and it says it’s prepared ‘for clinical purposes and is not intended, or sufficient, for medical or legal use’, but they use it anyway.’’
He said the trustee was allowing him to have $50 a day – up from $150 a week – but he still resented its control of his life.
‘‘I am angry with the tribunal for making and extending the orders in the first place and I am also angry with the trustee for the way it’s administering my finances.
‘‘I pay my home insurance monthly but they have just paid 10 months in advance even though the order giving them control expires in December, which is only six months away. What does that tell you? It tells you they don’t intend to give me my own money back.’’
A spokesman for the tribunal said it did not comment on matters before it.