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Help with unresolved phone and internet issues available for bushfire affected consumers

Consumers impacted by the recent bushfires can now receive dedicated assistance with their unresolved phone and internet issues. The Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman’s Natural Disasters help line, 03 8600 8308, will be open from Thursday 21 November 2019.

Staying connected through phone and internet services is important for the safety of residential consumers and small businesses in areas impacted by natural disasters.

Ombudsman Judi Jones said, “For local residents, remaining connected to phone and internet services means being able to contact emergency services, stay connected to medical assistance, and remain in touch with friends, family and neighbours. For small businesses it means being able to continue trading, supplying goods and providing a vital network for members of the community.

“Consumers should contact their provider first. Many telecommunications providers are offering specific relief packages or assistance for their customers affected by the bushfires.

“Our dedicated Natural Disasters phone line means consumers and small businesses can talk to someone who understands the issues and will assist in working out what can be done to resolve their phone or internet issue.”

If you are in a bushfire or flood affected area and have attempted to resolve your phone or internet issue with your provider, contact the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman on our Natural Disasters phone line, 03 8600 8308, or visit our website to lodge a complaint.

Information from Telstra

Telstra customers affected by bushfires should call 132 203 and state they are in a bushfire impacted area, or visit Telstra Exchange online to access the disaster relief services. In addition to helping people on the ground, Telstra is giving access to free calls and free Telstra Air Wi-Fi through local payphones for everyone in areas affected by bushfires in NSW and Queensland

Information from Optus

Optus customers affected by bushfires should call the dedicated phone line 1300 301 671. Optus is also working with local evacuation centres in the affected areas to provide support including pre-paid phones, pre-paid data packs and charging stations.




For all media enquiries please contact Sarah Carnovale on 0437 548 540 or

About the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman

The Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman provides a free and independent dispute resolution service for consumers and small businesses who have an unresolved complaint about their phone or internet service. Consumers and small businesses should contact or 1800 062 058.

The Telecommunications Industry Sector

The Telecommunications industry regulators are the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) Media enquiries to 02 9334 7719, 0434 652 063 or and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) Media enquiries to 1300 138 917,

Government and the regulators set policy and regulations for the telecommunications sector.

Communications Alliance is the peak body for Australian communications industry Media enquiries to Sefiani Communications, ( 61 431 478 558.

The Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) is Australia’s peak communications consumer organisation representing individuals, small businesses and not-for-profit groups as consumers of communications products and services. Media enquiries to 0409 966 931 or 02 9288 4000.

The Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land throughout Australia and their continuing connection to land, culture and community. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging, and extend our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples from all nations of this land.