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Tasmania

There are a range of services available in Tasmania to help resolve business disputes.

Magistrates Court

The Magistrates Court of Tasmania offers mediation and conciliation services as an alternative to going to trial.

Disputes under $5,000 are heard in the Minor Claims Division and automatically referred to conciliation as the first step.

Claims over $5,000 are subject to a directions hearing with the Magistrate. A directions hearing clarifies the issues, ensures both parties are prepared, explores possibilities of settlement, offers alternative dispute resolution such as mediation and makes any other pre-trial orders which may be appropriate.

If parties cannot agree on settlement or alternative dispute resolution the case proceeds to Court. Before trial, the Court can order conciliation conferences to assist to settle the dispute. Conciliation conferences provide an opportunity to resolve the dispute by negotiating a mutually agreeable resolution or compromise.

In general, the Magistrates Court does not hear cases over $50,000 in value. However, if both parties agree this may be possible.

Contact the Magistrates Court of Tasmania:

 p: 6233 3623

 e: magistrates.court@justice.tas.gov.au

 w: www.magistratescourt.tas.gov.au

 

Building and Construction

In Tasmania, there is a security of payment law which ensures that a person undertaking construction work in the state is entitled to receive, and is able to recover, progress payments for work they carry out under a written or oral construction contract, including the supply of goods and services.

If there is a dispute about payment, you can apply for adjudication to assist you to resolve your dispute by contacting a Nominating Authority.

Nominating Authorities receive adjudication applications, assist in the process, recruit and nominate adjudicators, serve adjudication decisions and issue adjudication certificates.

Find a registered Nominating Authority in Tasmania.

 

Energy

The Energy Ombudsman Tasmania provides a free, fair and independent dispute resolution service for electricity and natural gas consumers who have been unable to resolve a complaint with their energy retailer or distributor.

This service is provided by the Tasmanian Ombudsman.

Contact Energy Ombudsman Tasmania:

 p: 1800 001 170

 e:  energy.ombudsman@ombudsman.tas.gov.au

 w: www.energyombudsman.tas.gov.au

 

Fair Trading

Consumer Affairs and Fair Trading provides information and advice to consumers and traders on their consumer rights and obligations and also provides guidance on dispute resolution.

Contact Consumer Affairs and Fair Trading:

 p: 1300 654 499

 w: www.consumer.tas.gov.au/fair_trading

Farm Debt Mediation

Supported by the Federal and State Governments, Rural Business Tasmania’s FREE flagship financial counselling service provides confidential and independent assistance, including farm debt mediation to primary producers, fishermen and small rural businesses that have no alternative sources of impartial support, to manage the challenges of change and adjustment.

Services include:

  • Assisting clients gain better understanding of their financial position;
  • Assisting clients identify financial and business risk and opportunities;
  • Assisting clients negotiate with lenders and creditors;
  • Providing information about government and their assistance schemes;
  • Referring clients to specialist service providers including accountants, agricultural advisers and educational services, succession planners, family mediation and personal counselling, and emotional and social counselling.

Contact Rural Business Tasmania:

P:            (03) 6334 3295

E:           admin@ruralbusinesstasmania.org.au

W:          http://www.ruralbusinesstasmania.org.au/Home

M:          PO Box 322, LAUNCESTON 7250

 

 

Government

Complaints and disputes with a local or state government authority in Tasmania are dealt with through the Ombudsman Tasmania. The Ombudsman’s role is to enquire into and investigate complaints about the administrative actions of government departments, local councils, state-owned companies and government business enterprises.

Before contacting the Ombudsman you should try to resolve the issue directly with the local or state government agency. Complaints and disputes must be raised in writing and within two years of the issue occurring.

Contact the Ombudsman Tasmania:

 p: 1 800 001 170

 e: ombudsman@ombudsman.tas.gov.au

 w: www.ombudsman.tas.gov.au

 

Retail Lease

Consumer Affairs and Fair Trading is responsible for retail tenancy matters in Tasmania. If a dispute occurs and it cannot be resolved directly with the other party, you can request the Office of Consumer Affairs and Fair Trading to negotiate a solution.

Contact Consumer Affairs and Fair Trading:

 p: 1300 654 499

 e: consumer.affairs@justice.tas.gov.au

 w: http://www.consumer.tas.gov.au

 

Unfair Contract Terms

The Office of Consumer Affairs and Fair Trading (CAFT) provide a diverse and extensive range of services and information to the Tasmanian community, in order to encourage a fair, safe and equitable marketplace.

The key services and responsibilities of the CAFT team include:

  • administering and regulating the Australian Consumer Law in Tasmania;
  • developing and maintaining diverse legislative frameworks;
  • operating effective compliance and enforcement programs;

Contact Office of Consumer Affairs and Fair Trading:

p: 1300 65 44 99

e: consumer.affairs@justice.tas.gov.au

w: http://www.consumer.tas.gov.au/home

 

m: PO Box 56, Rosny Park TAS 7018


If you require further assistance, the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Information Line can provide information and assistance, including helping you to identify the most appropriate service to resolve your dispute. You can contact the Information Line on 1300 650 460.