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Encourage industry Ombudsman to publicise their dispute resolution processes to assist victims of family violence


Who is leading the change

  • Department of Treasury and Finance

The Victorian Government encourage the Victorian Energy and Water Ombudsman and the Commonwealth Financial Services Ombudsman and Telecommunications Ombudsman to publicise the availability of their dispute-resolution processes to help victims of family violence resolve disputes with service providers in relation to debts and liabilities incurred in the context of family violence.

  • The Minister for Finance, with assistance from each Ombudsman, identified opportunities to address economic abuse and hardship. Steps taken include:

    • working with relevant Ombudsmen to raise awareness of the findings of the Royal Commission into Family Violence and the prevalence of this type of economic abuse
    • seeking cooperation from each sector to better publicise dispute-resolution processes to help victim survivors of economic abuse resolve disputes. Follow up with relevant Ombudsmen to identify further policies and initiatives that the sector could implement

    Similar actions are being carried out for Recommendation 109, which relates to work underway with the Essential Services Commission. The Victorian Government is working together to address processes around economic abuse and dispute resolution in collaboration with energy and water service providers.

    On 27 September 2016, the Minister for Finance wrote to the Victorian Energy and Water Ombudsman, the Commonwealth Financial Services Ombudsman and the Telecommunications Ombudsman to encourage them to publicise dispute resolution procedures, with the aim of helping to resolve debt issues related to family violence.

  • While this recommendation has been implemented as the above activities are complete, the Minister for Finance will continue to engage with relevant Ombudsmen to make it as easy as possible for family violence victim survivors to resolve debts and liabilities with their energy, water, financial and telecommunication service providers.

  • Implemented.

Reviewed 17 May 2020

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