Ombudsman services join forces to support rural communities

Ombudsman services join forces to support rural communities | Insurance Business

Ombudsman services join forces to support rural communities

The newly launched Australian Financial Complaints Authority has joined forces with two other ombudsman services to support regional communities.

AFCA, in partnership with the Energy & Water Ombudsman NSW and the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman, will hold “Bring Your Bills Days” and community expos in rural communities to provide free advice and support for all residents, farmers, and small-business operators affected by drought, low incomes, or other factors.

The “Bring Your Bills Days” will be held in the following dates and venues:

  • Dec. 4 — Starlight Room, Parkes Services Club 9-17 Short Street, Parkes
  • Dec. 5 — Coonamble Bowling Club, Aberford Street, Coonamble
  • Dec. 6 — Dubbo Regional Theatre and Convention Centre (DRTCC) 155 Darling Street, Dubbo

“AFCA recognises the real challenges that drought-affected communities face; many of these are financial,” said David Locke, AFCA chief ombudsman and CEO. “We will provide solutions for disputes about credit, loans and finance, insurance, and a range of other financial products and services. AFCA also offers dedicated support for small businesses and can assist farmers with complaints that have cropped up because of drought or other issues.”

Also participating in the event are NSW Fair Trading, Revenue NSW, the Seniors Rights Service, AGL, Origin Energy, local councils, financial counsellors, and Energy Account Payment Assistance providers to provide advice and assistance.

People attending the event should bring their current and past energy, phone, and credit card statements as well as any letters from their providers, financial products, or service agreements or contracts, their Centrelink Health Card if they have one, and any concession cards.