Dungog Virtual Community Assistance Day supports residents during COVID-19

Advice: Help is a phone call away for Dungog residents with a virtual assistance day. Photo: Shutterstock.
Advice: Help is a phone call away for Dungog residents with a virtual assistance day. Photo: Shutterstock.

Dungog residents with unresolved issues with a range of agencies will get a virtual helping hand on Wednesday, September 9.

The Energy and Water Ombudsman NSW (EWON) and Hunter Water have teamed up for a Virtual Community Assistance Day to help residents and small businesses resolve outstanding issues, obtain advice and access support services - all with with a single phone call.

With the additional financial challenges faced by many during COVID-19, the event will help connect people with agencies to provide support with their energy and water bills, as well as a range of other services to assist with tenancy issues, outstanding fines, as well as banking, superannuation and legal problems.

Energy and Water Ombudsman NSW, Janine Young said this event is well-timed with customers being more likely to experience high energy bills as a result of COVID-19 and spending more time at home in winter.

"Vulnerable customers were struggling to pay their energy bills even before the pandemic. It is likely that the severity of the situation has increased, as more people are experiencing greater employment uncertainty and additional energy usage affecting their ability to pay their bills," Ms Young said.

Hunter Water's Executive Manager Customer Strategy and Retail, Victor Prasad, said the impacts of COVID-19 continued to be felt by some customers.

"We recognise this continues to be a very challenging time for some in our community. We're here to support our customers and help alleviate any bill stress they may be experiencing." he said.

"Our Account Assistance Team will be available for confidential appointments to discuss customers' accounts and provide individual advice about our support options such as payment extensions and interest free payment relief."

The event will take place on Wednesday, 9 September 2020, between 9am and 3pm.

To book your free consultation with one of the 14 agencies listed simply call 02 4081 5701.

Agencies participating in this event:

  • Hunter Water
  • Energy & Water Ombudsman NSW
  • Energy retailers - EnergyAustralia, Origin Energy and Red Energy,
  • Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman
  • NSW Trustee and Guardian
  • Australian Unity
  • Legal Aid NSW
  • Compass Housing
  • Dungog Shire Community Centre
  • Dungog and District Neighbourcare Inc,
  • Financial Counselling Hunter Valley Project Inc
  • Hunter Tenancy Advice & Advocacy Service.