Energy and Water Ombudsman Queensland reaches out to Indigenous Community

December 3, 2013

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe Energy and Water Ombudsman Queensland (EWOQ) is aiming to increase awareness of the office and strengthen relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in 2014.

“We receive very few complaints from indigenous Queenslanders and we aim to assist indigenous people to be confident and informed about their rights when it comes to their electricity services,” said Energy and Water Ombudsman Forbes Smith.

As part of this commitment, an Indigenous Investigation Conciliation and Outreach Officer will commence with EWOQ in 2014, based in Cairns. The officer will investigate complaints and liaise with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and representative bodies about electricity issues and how we can help.

“ICAN looks forward to partnering with EWOQ over the coming year  in some of Queensland’s most disadvantaged communities and the recruitment of an Indigenous Investigation and Conciliation and Outreach Officer is a great step forward”, said ICAN CEO Aaron Davis.

“EWOQ will work closely with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in urban, rural and remote areas and raise awareness about issues affecting indigenous people across the state,” said Mr Smith. “We want to ensure that we are as accessible as we can possibly be to all Queenslanders, including those living in regional communities.”

“The introduction of an Indigenous Investigation Conciliation and Outreach Officer will provide an opportunity for local indigenous communities to speak directly with one of my staff who can assist with complaints and provide general assistance,” said Mr Smith.

If indigenous customers are experiencing problems with their electricity supplier and cannot find a solution to the problem, they can contact the Energy and Water Ombudsman Queensland to make a complaint online at www.ewoq.com.au, or phone 1800 662 837.

Just some of the issues we can assist with include high and disputed electricity bills, people who are struggling to pay their bills, wrongful disconnections and supply issues. We can also provide some tips on how to save electricity and lower your bill,” said Mr Smith.

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