The ongoing drought instigated a one stop shop tour across the central west this week to help communities with assistance they might need with managing their bills.
The Energy and Water Ombudsman NSW, the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman and the Australian Financial Complaints Authority held ‘Bring Your Bills Days’ in Parkes, Coonamble and Dubbo.
Government departments, charitable organisations and energy providers together came together to see how they could help, including NSW Fair Trading, Revenue NSW, AGL and Origin Energy.
The event has been modeled before in suburban Sydney areas, but it was the first tour of regional NSW. The aim of the day was to help consumers and people in the community with any assistance they might have from providers to manage their bills.
Those who attended were able to speak about accessing payment plans with energy companies, hardship programs and incentives.
Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman Judi Jones was pleased to look at what her office can do to help relieve the pressure on communities that are doing it particularly tough.
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“We understand phone and internet problems can create added stress during what is already a difficult time, and it can be essential to remain connected,” she said.
Energy and Water Ombudsman NSW Ombudsman Janine Young said meeting with customers face-to-face makes a big difference to everyone involved and often leads to problems being resolved much quicker than they would otherwise be.