Please note that many of the organisations identified below are only able to assist people who live in, and provide online resources specific to, the state in which they are based.
Legal Information Access Centre
The Legal Information Access Centre (LIAC) is a specialist information service of the State Library of NSW. It provides access to information about the law for all members of the community in NSW: www.legalanswers.sl.nsw.gov.au
Departments of Fair Trading
Locate the department in your state or territory.
Public interest litigation
Most states and territories have a dedicated public interest law clearing house which can arrange free legal representation and advice in certain situations. A number of national pro bono resource organisations may also be able to provide useful information.
Specialist Community Legal Centres
Various community legal centres specialising in consumer law, credit and insurance are valuable resources for legal advice and representation.
Insurance Law Service http://www.insurancelaw.org.au/
Hobart Legal Service Consumer Credit Helpline http://www.hobartlegal.org.au/docs/free_legal.htm
Financial counsellors can provide assistance and advocacy to low income earners facing financial difficulties. You can find a financial counsellor servicing a particular area here: www.moneysmart.gov.au/managing-my-money/managing-debts/financial-counselling.
Legal Aid organisations in each state and territory have, to varying degrees, a limited ability to assist in relation to civil disputes. Queensland Legal Aid’s Civil Law Division has the most highly-developed reputation for consumer litigation.
Law Institutes in each state and territory will usually be able to offer members of the public either limited access to free legal advice, or a referral service to a practitioner with the requisite expertise.
Professional associations and peak bodies may have some form of complaint handling procedure available to customers or clients of their members. Even if no formal processes are available, a letter of complaint to the CEO of the organisation can be a useful circuit-breaker for stalled negotiations with a problem trader.
Dispute resolution forums
Energy & Water
General consumer advice
See these CHOICE reports for further help: