Financial Hardship Assistance

This article will explain what you can do if you are affected by Financial Hardship.

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Westnet defines financial hardship as:
A situation where a customer is unable, reasonably, because of illness, unemployment or other reasonable cause, to discharge their financial obligations under their contract with the supplier and the customer reasonably expects to be able to discharge those obligations if payment and/or service arrangements were changed.  Financial hardship can be of limited or long term duration. 


In times of genuine hardship, we understand that customers and/or their financial counsellor deserve easy access to empathetic and skilled staff. Westnet will endeavour to provide this service by training all Credit staff to correctly identify customers who are dealing with financial hardship.

At Westnet, we expect our Credit Team to act with compassion and sympathy, whilst still managing to meet business requirements. The Credit Team is also required to accept reasonable payment arrangements, taking into account each customer’s individual circumstances.


Westnet considers financial hardship a state that involves a customer’s inability to pay bills, rather than an unwillingness to do so. Customer hardship can arise from a variety of situations, and can be of either limited duration or long term.

Common causes of financial hardship include, but not limited to:

  • Loss of employment by the consumer or family member,
  • Family breakdown,
  • Illness including physical incapacity, hospitalisation, or mental illness of the customer or family member,
  • A death in the family,
  • Being a victim of domestic or family violence,
  • Abuse of the service by a third party leaving the customer unable to pay the account,
  • Natural Disaster.


The agreed financial solution should meet the following criteria:

  • The repayment should be sufficient to cover expected future use of the service (as adjusted to ensure the customer’s financial position does not worsen over a reasonable period of time).
  • The arrangement should provide a continued reduction of debt at a reasonable level (i.e. the customer should not be going into future debt under the arrangement).

Upon request or suggestion, we will restrict your services. This includes, but not limited to,

  • restricing your telephone to local calls only.
  • reducing spend allowance on mobile phone and/or data plans to stop you exceeding your pre paid monthly quota by an undesired amount.
  • removing access to apply for new products and services
  • Suspending use of some or all services.



There are also a range of other financial support services available such as free financial counselling services offered in each state and territory in Australia. The following organisations are in no way affiliated with Westnet, but might be the help you need. For more information on these and other options available, please see ACMA’s website.


Consumer Action Law Centre: 03 9629 6300
Legal advice for the public: 03 9629 6300 / 1800 466 477,
Legal advice for consumer caseworkers: 03 9602 3326

MoneyHelp: 1800 007 007
Not-for-profit Victorian Government service providing free, confidential financial counselling for Victorians experiencing job loss or reduced working hours.


Financial Rights Legal Centre Credit and Debt Hotline: 1800 007 007

Financial Counsellors' Association of New South Wales: 1300 914 408


Care Financial Counselling Service: 02 6257 1788

Salvation Army Financial Counselling: 02 6247 3635

Lifeline gambling and financial counselling: 02 6247 0655


Uniting Care Wesley Adelaide 08 8202 5180 (Referral to a financial counsellor)

Northern Community Legal Service: 08 8281 6911

South Australian Financial Counsellors Association

Relationships Australia (SA)


Financial Counselling Hotline: 1800 007 007

Consumer Credit Legal Service: 08 9221 7066

Financial Counsellors Association of Western Australia: 08 9325 1617


Anglicare Financial Counselling Service: 1800 243 232

Consumer Credit Helpline, Hobart Community Legal Service: 1800 232 500

Relationships Australia Tasmania: 1300 364 277


Financial Counsellors Association of Queensland: 1800 007 007


Financial Counselling Hotline: 1800 007 007

Somerville Community Services
Darwin 08 8920 4100
Katherine 08 8972 5100
Palmerston Financial Counselling Centre 08 89316200

Anglicare NT Financial Counselling
Ludmilla Head Office: 08 8985 0000
Katherine Financial Counselling Service: 08 8963 6100
Nhulunbuy Financial Counselling Service: 08 8939 3400
Alice Springs Financial Counselling Service: 08 8951 8000

Tangentyere Council Financial Counselling Service
Telephone 08 8951 4257

Alternatively visit for more information.


For more information on our Financial Hardship Policy, please email, or call our Billing Team on 1300 786 068 (24 hours a day, seven days a week). Please note that the Credit Team is available from 6am until 7pm AEST (Monday to Friday).


Your assessment will be reviewed by our empathetic and skilled Credit Team within 7 business days.


If you are facing financial difficulties you may be required to provide some sensitive information, this may include:

  • Employment information
  • Income details (including any government assistance)
  • Debt statements (Bills)

Our staff are experienced in treating matters of financial hardship with understanding and sensitivity, and your privacy will remain our utmost concern. All information will be kept confidential and in accordance with the privacy provisions of the Privacy Act 1988.