New nline helpers will assist people find timely and accurate information about noise, tree and fence disputes
New nline helpers will assist people find timely and accurate information about noise, tree and fence disputes

Noise, fence and tree disupte help available 24/7

INNOVATIVE new chatbots are now available to help residents access important information any time of the day or night to help them resolve neighbourhood disputes.

Member for Jordan Charis Mullen said the two chatbots - online software that can simulate a conversation with users - were developed with busy people in mind.

"The chatbots, named MANDI and SANDI, are an illustration of what can be done when technology and legal services meet," she said.

"The online helpers will assist people find timely and accurate information about noise, tree and fence disputes."

Ms Mullen said the chatbots would allow people to access important services at times convenient to them, rather than being limited to standard business hours.

"Many people work 9am to 5pm, so accessing assistance is not an easy task," she said.

The chatbot idea came from the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) and a similar idea was presented at the Department of Justice and Attorney-General's inaugural Hackcess to Justice hackathon in May - a 48-hour innovation design thinking event that involved students, young professionals and experts working together to solve a problem.

The winning team comprised engineering students Sophia Hooton and Roy Portas from the University of Queensland, and law students Kimia Zarei and Joanne Marie de Jesus from the Queensland University of Technology, who worked with the Department's digital transformation team to produce their chatbot.

Ms Mullen congratulated the students for coming up with such a unique approach.

"Appropriate and fair access to justice is paramount for all Queenslanders," Mrs Mullen said.

"Having these four young people come up with such a brilliant solution that harnesses technology that is accessible to all shows keen insight and innovation."

Ms Mullen said the two chatbots were quite different in their approach.

"MANDI is designed to walk people through a guided conversation.

"The user selects options from a predetermined list and the chatbot directs them to accurate information to help them resolve a wide range of neighbourhood disputes in a safe and fair manner.

"While SANDI is a conversational chatbot for QCAT, designed to give people information about processes to resolve their tree and fence disputes.

"SANDI allows you to enter questions in your own words and it will provide plain English information and links to relevant QCAT webpages and forms."

For more information about what the chatbots can do, visit qld.gov.au/treeandfencedisputes.



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