While most land access interactions occur without an issue, sometimes disputes can occur that are difficult to resolve.

Our seven tips aim to provide a smooth dispute resolution process and a beneficial outcome for the parties involved.

1. Do your best to resolve the issue, before coming to us.

We can’t investigate a dispute until you’ve made a reasonable attempt to resolve it. This means that you must communicate and try to work with the other party before we can accept your dispute.

2. Bring ideas about how the issue could be solved to the table

Clearly outline what you want, what you’d consider and what is an unacceptable solution to help speed up the process. Before your first meeting with us, ask yourself:

  • What is the dispute about?
  • How is this affecting you and/or your business?
  • What information can you share or need to know to help a decision be made?
  • What would agreeing to resolve the issue/s look like?
  • How could this play out? What is the best-case and worst-case solution for you?

3. Have your supporting evidence ready

We will need a copy of your CCA or MGA, as well as any details of communication, photos, and supporting documents. Providing a detailed picture of the situation will help us to understand the issues at hand and efficiently deal with your dispute.

4. Participate in good faith

We’re independent, impartial, and aim to find a practical solution that satisfies both parties. To help find an agreeable outcome for a productive relationship, it is important to be open-minded and understanding throughout the investigation.

5. Be prompt in responding to requests for information

Keep the process moving along. This will help to find a solution to your dispute sooner, reducing time and effort for both parties involved.

6. Remember that this isn’t a legal proceeding

The Ombudsman acts as a referee, not a judge. To find an effective solution to repair or preserve your working relationship, we will consider what is fair and reasonable to the average person. We avoid jargon and complex legal phrasing. We ask that you do the same – be open, fair, and honest in your dealings with us.

7. Contact us if you have questions or concerns

If at any stage you’re not clear on what’s next, the status of the investigation, or what an email or document means, reach out to our team. We’re here to help, to make the process easy and simple.

For more information

Download the LAO Fact Sheet (PDF, 266.6KB) to find out about what we do, how we do it, and how to contact us if you need help.

Last updated: 30 Oct 2023