Telstra's decision to axe jobs at its customer service centre in Lismore is devastating, the city's mayor says.
Telstra is planning on shedding 650 jobs across NSW, Victoria and Queensland as customers shift from call centres to online services.
The telco says it will cut 422 full-time staff and 229 staff employed through agencies at customer service and call-centre operations across the three states.
The company on Tuesday said it planned to close its customer service centres at Lismore in northern NSW and Townsville in north Queensland.
Lismore Mayor Jenny Dowell says the plans are a huge loss for the regional community in northern NSW.
"I have had a phone call from a mother whose son works at the call centre," she told AAP.
"He moved here from Melbourne for it and his mother says he is just shattered."
Ms Dowell said she had been personally assured that jobs in her city were safe after Telstra closed its Grafton call centre in 2011.
Most Lismore locals would know someone affected by the job losses, she said.
"I understand that at this call centre there are couples, a husband and wife who will both lose their jobs," she said.
"The ripple effect of this is huge."