Articles of interest - 23 December

Written on the 23 December 2020 by SAFCA

  • Legal Services Commission
  • Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman
  • The Bulb produced by ConnectEd - UCWB
  • Be Energy Smart produced by Government of South Australia
  • Small Business Commissioners update for the month of December

Legal Services Commission

To view past publications, including those listed below, go to

  • Police Powers
  • Family Violence and Intervention Orders
  • Young People and the Law
  • Going to Court
  • Debt and Bankruptcy
  • Child Welfare

How to legal advice and assistance:

  • Legal Help Line 1300 366 424, available 9am 4.30pm Monday to Friday
  • Online Legal Aid Form
  • Legal Chat. Type to chat to a legal advisor for personal assistance with legal information.

Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman

  • A message from the Ombudsman
  • Working with people experiencing family violence
  • Help with unresolved phone and internet problems

A message from the Ombudsman

What an extraordinary year it has been.

We have had to deal with changes, challenges, and complexities, but our purpose has remained clear: to provide a fair, independent, and accessible dispute resolution service for those with unresolved phone or internet service problems, and to improve outcomes for consumers and telcos.

The changes and upheavals in Australia meant consumers and small businesses relied more on telco services. The impact of the pandemic both in Australia and globally presented challenges for the telco industry, which in turn, impacted on residential consumers and small businesses here in Australia.

As with most organisations, responding to the pandemic was a significant challenge for the TIO which I am pleased to say we met. We focused on first looking after our people, and then delivering our service. We supported our people in setting up functioning home offices, and provided psychological resilience training to help tackle mental health challenges experienced during the lockdown in Melbourne.

In the new year, some of our people are looking forward to a phased return to our Melbourne office, while others will continue their successful flexible working arrangements.

We'll continue to improve the member and consumer experience, through an "outside in" view of the end-to-end customer journey. Our Tech Refresh project has already commenced and includes upgrading our online portals for consumers and members. This will improve our capacity, future proof our delivery, and will help us provide efficient and effective services.

We will also continue our work in systemic issues and contributing to the public debate.

As we head into the holiday period, it is a chance for us to recharge and reflect on the lessons learned through the year so we can continue to deliver our service to consumers and the telco industry. For me, although the year has had its challenges, it has also had its rewards.

I wish you all a relaxing and rejuvenating break. Enjoy the summer holidays, and we look forward to working with you again in 2021.

Judi Jones, Ombudsman

Working with people experiencing family violence? We have a tip sheet to help with managing phone and internet services

Some of the challenges facing telcos when resolving phone and internet problems are difficulties recognising consumers impacted by family violence and understanding what a consumer needs to feel safe.

The Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman investigated the impact of phone and internet problems on people experiencing family violence. The investigation found telcos face four challenges:

  • Recognising and responding to consumers experiencing family violence
  • Understanding what consumers need to stay connected and safe
  • Ensuring appropriate processes for account security, and
  • Offering the right financial assistance

The Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman has put together a tip sheet - click here -  to help phone and internet consumers who are impacted by family violence.

Help with unresolved phone and internet problems is available for people impacted by natural disasters

Staying connected through phone and internet services is important for the safety of residential consumers and small businesses impacted by natural disasters.

For local residents, remaining connected to phone and internet services means being able to contact emergency services, stay connected to medical assistance, and remain in touch with family, friends, and neighbours. For small businesses, it means being able to continue trading, supplying goods, and providing a vital network for members of the community.

The TIO's natural disasters phone line, 1800 046 686, is open for consumers impacted by natural disasters and have phone or internet problems they can't fix with their telco.

Consumers should contact their telco first to see what help is available. Some telcos may offer special assistance packages for people affected by natural disasters.

If you are impacted by natural disasters, and have a phone or internet problem you and your telco can't fix together, contact the TIO on 1800 046 686, or make a complaint online - click here .

We're closing for the holiday break

Our phone lines will be closed from 4.30pm on Thursday 24 December 2020 and will re-open at 9.00am on Monday 4 January 2021.

During this time, you can make a complaint online

The Bulb produced by ConnectEd - UCWB

Keeping people connected to energy, water and communications.

To read the latest newsletter,  click here 

Be Energy Smart

This newsletter, produced by the Government of South Australia, includes the New Summer Cooling Guide, and other articles. To read more, click here

Small Business Commissioners update for the month of December

Second round of cash grants available now

Thousands of South Australian small businesses and not-for-profit organisations that continue to be impacted by COVID-19 will be eligible for a second $10,000 cash grant as part of the Marshall Liberal Government's $4 billion in economic stimulus to help protect thousands of local jobs.

And, for the first time, the Government has introduced a $3,000 cash grant for eligible businesses that do not employ staff, including sole traders and partnerships, operating from a commercial premise and suffering financial hardship as a result of the pandemic. Click here to read the Premiers media release




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