open side menu Navigation

How we help

Our Assistance Team responds to requests for assistance from small businesses and family enterprises that are in dispute with other businesses or Commonwealth Government agencies. We tailor how we assist you, provide information on how to resolve the dispute and facilitate discussions between you and the disputing party. If necessary, we can provide access to external alternative dispute resolution services or refer you to another Commonwealth, state or territory agency who can help you.

Assistance process

Initial assistance

There is no application fee for initial assistance.

When you contact our Assistance Team, you will be asked for information about your dispute to help us decide the best way to handle it. You may then be referred to another government agency or organisation that is best placed to help with your dispute.

If our Assistance Team is most suitable, you will be contacted by a case manager. Your case manager will tell you how they may be able to help you resolve the dispute and will ask for further details. 

Pre-mediation

If our Assistance Team is able to help you resolve your dispute, your case manager will contact the other party in the dispute to find out more information.  Once the information is provided, your case manager will discuss options with you about how to resolve the dispute.

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)

If the dispute is not resolved during the pre-mediation phase, the next option is to refer you to an ADR process. Our office maintains a list of suitable specialists who can conduct ADR under our legislation. The cost of the ADR process will be shared evenly between the parties. ADR will not be recommended for monetary matters that outweigh the cost of ADR.