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Victoria

The Victorian Small Business Commissioner is the first point of contact for small business disputes in Victoria. Find out more about how the Commissioner can help and other services available in Victoria. 

Victorian Small Business Commissioner

The Victorian Small Business Commissioner (VSBC) promotes greater fairness in business through its four main functions: information and education; review of government practices; investigation of small business complaints; and dispute resolution.

Dispute resolution services are provided at a subsidised rate and are available to assist in resolving business-to-business and business-to-government disputes. The wide range of issues which the VSBC may be able to assist with include:

  • payment and contract
  • retail leasing
  • farm debt
  • franchising
  • forestry and owner drivers
  • disputes with Government.

Contact VSBC:

 p: 13 8722

 e: enquiries@sbc.vic.gov.au

 w: www.vsbc.vic.gov.au

 

Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal

The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) provides low cost and independent dispute resolution services for a range of disputes, including administrative and civil matters.

The Civil Division of the Tribunal hears and determines a range of civil disputes, including disputes about breaches of contract, late or non-payment for services, quality of products or services, late or unsatisfactory repairs, and misleading or deceptive conduct. There is no limit on the cost or value of the goods or services in dispute.

Contact VCAT:

 p: 1800 133 055

 e: vcat-civil@justice.vic.gov.au

 w: www.vcat.vic.gov.au

 

Private mediators

Victorian industry associations include the Victorian Association for Dispute Resolution (VADR), the Victorian Bar and the Law Institute of Victoria (LIV). Members can be contacted through the websites to arrange private mediation.

 

Building and Construction

In Victoria 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 good and services.

If there is a dispute about payment, you can apply for adjudication to assist you to resolve your dispute by contacting an Authorised Nominating Authority (ANA). Find a registered ANA in Victoria.

 

Energy

The Energy and Water Ombudsman Victoria (EWOV) offers free, alternative dispute resolution services to assist businesses to resolve disputes.

EWOV can take complaints about all electricity, gas and water companies operating in Victoria, provided you have tried to resolve the issue with your electricity, gas or water provider directly.

Contact EWOV:

 p:  1800 500 509

 e: ewovinfo@ewov.com.au

 w: www.ewov.com.au

 

Fair Trading

Victorian Small Business Commissioner

The Victorian Small Business Commissioner (VSBC) promotes greater fairness in business through its four main functions: information and education; review of government practices; investigation of small business complaints; and dispute resolution.

Amongst the Commissioner’s responsibilities is the function of encouraging the fair treatment of small businesses in their commercial dealings with other businesses in the marketplace and to receive and investigate complaints by small businesses about unfair market practices and to mediate such situations.

Dispute resolution services are provided at a subsidised rate.

Contact VSBC:

 p: 13 8722

 e: enquiries@sbc.vic.gov.au

 w: www.vsbc.vic.gov.au

 

Consumer Affairs Victoria

Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV) administers and enforces fair trading laws in Victoria, including the Australian Consumer Law, and may be able to help resolve a dispute with another business, if the business is entitled to consumer protections under Australian Consumer Law.

Consumer Affairs Victoria also provides information on handling customer complaints and resolving disputes with a customer.

Contact CAV:

 p: 1300 098 631

 e: smallbusiness@justice.gov.au

 w: www.consumer.vic.gov.au

Farm Debt Mediation

The Farm Debt Mediation Scheme makes it compulsory for banks and other creditors to offer mediation to farmers before commencing debt recovery proceedings on farm mortgages.

The scheme is administered by the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources (DEDJTR) and further information can be sought from the Farm Debt Mediation Officer on 136 186.

Under the Farm Debt Mediation Scheme mediation services are provided by the Victorian Small Business Commissioner.  Mediation is low cost – each party pays a subsidised fee to participate.

Contact VSBC:

P:            13 87 22

E:            enquiries@sbc.vic.gov.au

W:          http://www.vsbc.vic.gov.au/who-we-help/farmers-farm-creditors/

Government

The Victorian Small Business Commissioner (VSBC) promotes greater fairness in business through its four main functions: information and education; review of government practices; investigation of small business complaints; and dispute resolution.

Dispute resolution services are provided at a subsidised rate and are available to assist in resolving business-to-local and state government disputes.

Contact VSBC:

 p: 13 8722

 e: enquiries@sbc.vic.gov.au

 w: www.vsbc.vic.gov.au

 

Retail Lease

The Victorian Small Business Commissioner (VSBC) is responsible for the Retail Leases Act 2003. It provides information and education, investigation of complaints and low cost disputes resolution services.

Additionally, where a landlord and tenant cannot agree on the rent to be paid the VSBC can appoint a specialist retail valuer to determine the rent payable.

Find more information on the resolution of retail tenancy disputes.

Contact VSBC:

 p: 13 8722

 e: enquiries@sbc.vic.gov.au

 w: www.vsbc.vic.gov.au

 

Unfair Contract Terms

The Victorian Small Business Commissioner (VSBC) promotes greater fairness in business through its four main functions: information and education; review of government practices; investigation of small business complaints; and dispute resolution.

Dispute resolution services are provided at a subsidised rate and are available to assist in resolving business-to-business and business-to-government disputes. The wide range of issues which the VSBC may be able to assist with include:

·         payment and contract (including unfair contract terms)

·         retail leasing

·         farm debt

·         franchising

·         forestry and owner drivers

·         disputes with Government.

Contact VSBC:

p: 13 87 22

e: enquiries@sbc.vic.gov.au

w: http://www.vsbc.vic.gov.au


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.