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Western Australia

The Small Business Development Corporation is the first point of contact for small businesses with a dispute in Western Australia. Find out more about how the Corporation can help and other services available in Western Australia. 

Small Business Development Corporation

The Small Business Development Corporation (SBDC) is an independent authority of the Western Australian Government and provides information and guidance to small businesses on resolving business disputes.

The SBDC provides an alternative dispute resolution service for business-to-business and business-to-government disputes. The service assists small business operators to resolve complaints and disputes, including debt collection, contract disputes for the supply of goods and services, intellectual property disputes, trade practices disputes and retail tenancy disputes.

Before going to the SBDC businesses should try to settle the dispute directly with the other party.

Contact SBDC:

 p: 13 12 49

 e: info@smallbusiness.wa.gov.au

 w: www.smallbusiness.wa.gov.au/

 

Western Australian Courts

The Western Australian Courts system includes the Magistrates Court, District Court and Supreme Court. Generally, the Magistrates Court can determine civil claims up to $75,000, the District Court between $75,000 and $750,000 and the Supreme Court over $750,000. The Courts are able to deal with various criminal and civil matters, including claims for debt recovery or damages.

The Western Australian Courts system encourages and supports alternative dispute resolution and mediation. In the Magistrates Court, claims up to $10,000 can use a less formal dispute resolution process which is generally without lawyers and with more privacy for parties. The Magistrates Court can order a pre-trial conference, listings conference or mediation before the dispute proceeds to trial.

Contact the Magistrates Court:

 p: 9425 2222

 w: www.magistratescourt.wa.gov.au

Contact the District Court:

 p: 9425 2268

 w: www.districtcourt.wa.gov.au

Contact the Supreme Court:

 p: 9421 5333

 w: www.supremecourt.wa.gov.au

 

Building and Construction

In Western Australia, the Construction Contracts Act 2004 provides a rapid adjudication process to resolve building and construction sector payment disputes. The Act covers both written and oral contracts. The Act allows for the appointment of an adjudicator and sets strict time limits on the process so that decisions can be made quickly and payment is not held up.

Find more information about resolving building and construction sector payment disputes or you can contact the Building Commission on 1300 489 099 or at BCinfo@commerce.wa.gov.au.

 

Energy

The Energy and Water Ombudsman receives, investigates and facilitates the resolution of complaints from residential and small business customers about their electricity or gas provider.

Contact the Energy and Water Ombudsman:

 p: 1800 754 004

 e: energyandwater@ewov.com.au

 w: www.ombudsman.wa.gov.au/energyandwater

 

Fair Trading

The Small Business Development Corporation (SBDC) provides assistance and dispute resolution for fair trading and competition matters. Although the SBDC is not responsible for the Australian Consumer Law they are well placed to handle small business fair trading matters as their expertise is in business-to-business interactions.

Contact SBDC:

 p: 131 249

 e: info@smallbusiness.wa.gov.au

 w: www.smallbusiness.wa.gov.au/

Farm Debt Mediation

The Farm Debt Mediation Scheme in Western Australia (WA) is available to assist farm and pastoral businesses and financial institutions resolve disputes about business financial arrangements.  The Scheme provides an opportunity to address issues and disputes through a low cost and non-legal form of mediation, and encourage a mutually acceptable agreement between the parties.

The professional mediation will be conducted by the Small Business Development Corporation of Western Australia (SBDC).

Contact Rural Business Development Corporation:

P:            1800 198 231

E:            rbdu@agric.wa.gov.au

W:          https://www.agric.wa.gov.au/grains/farm-debt-mediation-wa-scheme

M:          Farm Debt Mediation

Rural Business Development Unit

Locked Bag 4

Bentley Delivery Centre, WA, 6398

Government

Small Business Development Corporation

The Small Business Development Corporation (SBDC) is an independent authority of the Western Australian Government and provides information and guidance to small businesses on resolving business disputes.

The SBDC provides an alternative dispute resolution service for business-to-local government and business-to-state government disputes.

Contact SBDC:

 p: 13 12 49

 e: info@smallbusiness.wa.gov.au

 w: www.smallbusiness.wa.gov.au/

 

WA Ombudsman

An alternative service to the Small Business Development Corporation offering investigation and dispute resolution for business-to-local government and business-to-state government disputes is the Ombudsman Western Australia.

The Ombudsman investigates complaints about the decision making of public including state government departments, prisons, hospitals, schools and technical colleges, local governments and public universities.

Contact the Ombudsman:

 p: 1800 117 000

 e: mail@ombudsman.wa.gov.au

 w: www.ombudsman.wa.gov.au

 

Retail Lease

The Small Business Development Corporation (SBDC) is an independent authority of the Western Australian Government and provides information and guidance to small businesses on resolving business disputes.

The SBDC provides an alternative dispute resolution service for business-to-business disputes, including retail tenancy disputes.

Contact SBDC:

 p: 13 12 49

 e: info@smallbusiness.wa.gov.au

 w: www.smallbusiness.wa.gov.au

 

Unfair Contract Terms

The Small Business Development Corporation (SBDC) is an independent authority of the Western Australian Government and provides information and guidance to small businesses on resolving business disputes.

The SBDC provides an alternative dispute resolution service for business-to-business and business-to-government disputes. The service assists small business operators to resolve complaints and disputes, including debt collection, contract disputes for the supply of goods and services, intellectual property disputes, trade practices disputes and retail tenancy disputes.

Before going to the SBDC businesses should try to settle the dispute directly with the other party.

Contact SBDC:

p: 13 12 49

e: info@smallbusiness.wa.gov.au

w: www.smallbusiness.wa.gov.au/

 

Workplace Relations

Western Australia is not part of the national workplace relations system. Instead, it has the Western Australian Industry Relations Commission (WAIRC)

The WAIRC is an independent quasi-judicial tribunal established to deal with industrial relations matters in Western Australia. The main objectives of the Commission are to prevent and settle industrial disputes. The Commission is able to hear disputes arising from businesses in either Western Australia labour relations system or the federal system.

Small business employment issues, including disputes with employees, can be informally mediated by the Commission. If requested, mediated outcomes can be registered by the Industrial Relations Commissioner making them enforceable. The Commissioner can also conciliate and arbitrate employment disputes.

Contact WAIRC:

 p: 1800 624 263

 w: www.wairc.wa.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.