Free mediation takes heat out of neighbour disputes

Issued: Sunday, 24 January 2016

The NSW Government's free mediation service, Community Justice Centres (CJCs), is taking the heat out of neighbourhood conflict this summer.

NSW Attorney General Gabrielle Upton today encouraged neighbours to seek help from CJCs before feuds get out of hand.

"During the holiday period we often become more aware of our neighbours, and disputes can arise as many of us spend more time at home," Ms Upton said.

"Community Justice Centres can see a spike in neighbour disputes including noisy air conditioners and pool pumps, and tree removal to prepare for bushfire season."

CJC's mediations provide a safe and neutral environment for people in dispute to put forward their point of view and listen to the concerns of others.

The service is available statewide and CJCs will arrange a session at a convenient location for all involved.

"Importantly, the professional mediators don't make judgments, work equally with all parties, and agreement is reached in almost 80 per cent of cases," Ms Upton said.

"In most cases, mediation is a less stressful option than bickering over the fence or taking costly legal action, and in 2014-15 1348 mediations were carried out.

"Using a CJC can help you resolve your differences quickly, peacefully and for free, whether is it a conflict with family members, colleagues, amateur sporting or cultural associations or a dispute over money."

The top 10 neighbourhood mediation topics for CJCs for 2014-15 are:

  • Trees

  • Fences

  • Animals

  • Privacy

  • Children

  • Access

  • Retaining walls

  • Common facilities

  • Trespass

  • Plumbing 

For more information, visit: www.cjc.justice.nsw.gov.au or call 1800 990 777.