Other complaint-handling services

To read more about what the Commonwealth Ombudsman can assist you with click here.

Below is information and links to agencies and services that can assist you.

Australian Government

The Australian Government Entry Point provides a full listing of Australian Government departments and agencies with information about their respective roles and responsibilities and links to their websites.

Industry sponsored Ombudsmen

Credit Ombudsman
The Credit Ombudsman Service Limited (COSL) is the external dispute resolution scheme for the non-bank credit industry, approved by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

Employee Ombudsman (SA)
Provides advice and assistance to South Australian employees.

Energy and Water Ombudsman NSW
Provides an independent way of resolving customer complaints about all electricity and gas suppliers in New South Wales and some water suppliers.

Energy and Water Ombudsman (Victoria) (EWOV)
Energy and Water Ombudsman Victoria has the power to investigate and resolve disputes between Victorian consumers and their electricity, gas and water companies.

Energy and Water Ombudsman Queensland
Provides complaint investigation and dispute resolution services to residential and small business energy customers across Queensland and water customers in south east Queensland.

Energy and Water Industry Ombudsman SA
Investigates and resolves disputes between South Australian electricity and gas customers and their providers.

Energy Ombudsman TAS
Investigates and resolves disputes between Tasmanian energy customers and their providers.

Energy Ombudsman WA
Investigates and facilitates the resolution of complaints from residential and small business customers in Western Australia about their electricity or gas company.

Financial Ombudsman Service
Financial Ombudsman Service is an independent external dispute resolution service which you can use if you are unable to resolve your dispute through your financial service provider's internal dispute resolution process. The independent dispute resolution processes cover complaints about financial services including banking, credit, loans, general insurance, life insurance, financial planning, investments, stock broking, managed funds and pooled superannuation trusts.

Produce and Grocery Industry Ombudsman
Resolves disputes over supply of fresh produce and processed foods to markets and retailers.

Public Transport Ombudsman VIC
Deals with complaints about Victorian public transport that members of the community have been unable to resolve directly with the public transport operators.

Superannuation Complaints Tribunal
An independent Tribunal set up by the Australian Government to deal with complaints about superannuation funds, annuities and deferred annuities, and Retirement Savings Accounts.

Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman
Deals with complaints that consumers have not been able to resolve with their telephone or Internet company.

State and Territory Ombudsmen

You can make complaints about the actions or decisions of state or territory governments by contacting your state or territory government Ombudsman or equivalent office holder in your state or territory.

People with complaints about ACT Government agencies can contact the Commonwealth Ombudsman who is also the ACT Ombudsman.

ACT Ombudsman

For complaints about the administrative actions of ACT Government agencies and public education providers.

Ombudsman for the Northern Territory

For complaints about Northern Territory government departments and agencies.

Ombudsman Tasmania

For complaints about Tasmanian government departments, and agencies, local government, and state-owned businesses.

Ombudsman South Australia

For complaints about South Australian Government and local government agencies.

Victorian Ombudsman

For complaints about most levels of Victorian state and local government.

Ombudsman Western Australia

For complaints about Western Australian government agencies, statutory authorities, local governments and public universities.

NSW Ombudsman

For complaints about NSW government departments, councils and statutory authorities.

Queensland Ombudsman

For complaints about Queensland state agencies, local councils and public universities.

Other complaint handling review agencies

In some cases, it may be more appropriate for your complaint to be investigated by:

  • the Privacy Commissioner who investigates complaints about breaches of privacy
  • the Australian Human Rights Commission which investigates complaints about discrimination because of race, sex or disability, or
  • one of the other avenues of Australian government administrative review.

Review bodies include the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, and the Veterans' Review Board. Each of these agencies can review the merits of an agency's decision, and they also have the power to change a decision.

Administrative Appeals Tribunal
Provides independent review of a wide range of administrative decisions made by the Australian government and some non-government bodies.

Aged Care Complaints Resolution Scheme
Investigates complaints about Australian Government-subsidised aged care services (including residential and community care services).

The Aged Care Commissioner
Investigates complaints from people who believe the Aged Care Complaints Resolution Scheme has treated them unfairly.

Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity
Investigates allegations of corruption in the Australian Federal Police and the Australian Crime Commission, including abuse of office, conduct that perverts the course of justice, or corruption of any other kind.

Australian Human Rights Commission 
Investigates complaints of discrimination or breaches of human rights under federal laws.

Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security
Investigates complaints about the actions/decisions of the organisations comprising the Australian intelligence community.

Inspector-General of Taxation
Investigates complaints concerning tax administration action by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB). NOTE: complaints concerning Freedom of Information or Public Interest Disclosure matters relating to the ATO and TPB remain the responsibility of the Commonwealth Ombudsman. Click here for further information.

National Anti-Discrimination Information Gateway 
To assist individuals and businesses to navigate discrimination laws, this Gateway provides a snapshot of each anti-discrimination system including information about the grounds and areas of public life on which a complaint can be made in each jurisdiction.

Office of the Australian Information Commissioner
Australia's central federal agency for freedom of information, privacy and information policy issues.

Privacy Commissioner
Handles complaints from people who think their personal information, including health information, has been mishandled by an Australian or ACT Government agency or a private sector organisation.

Veteran's Review Board
An independent tribunal that exists to review decisions made by the Repatriation Commission under the Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986 (Cth) and determinations under the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004 (Cth).

Who to ask when you don’t know where to start?

  1. Free, fair and independent dispute resolution: Western Australia
  2. Free, fair and independent dispute resolution: Australian Capital Territory
  3. Free, fair and independent dispute resolution: New South Wales
  4. Free, fair and independent dispute resolution: Northern Territory
  5. Free, fair and independent dispute resolution: Queensland
  6. Free, fair and independent dispute resolution: South Australia
  7. Free, fair and independent dispute resolution: Tasmania
  8. Free, fair and independent dispute resolution: Victoria
  9. Free, fair and independent dispute resolution: New Zealand

You may also find the following links helpful:

Complaintline: www.complaintline.com.au

A complete A-Z: www.complaintline.com.au/categories.html