TEC Call Centre Reference



Here is the eLearning material, presented without the questions, so you can return to for reference during your time here.

 Remember at the TEC it's important to ask and clarify rather than try to 'wing it', or make assumptions!


About working at the TEC (ref)

Meet the TEC team

Enjoy this ABC radio 'behind the scenes' story from the 2014 Local Government elections:


TEC Website

  1. Click on the 'i' symbol to learn a little more.
  2. Head over to the website to read each of those 3 pages. - http://www.tec.tas.gov.au/

Now head to the website to read the Legislative Council 2016 web pages - click "Legislative Council" big blue button at the top.

Getting familiar with the Office

Click the blinking 'i' icons to learn a little more about our office.



Be sure to complete your timesheets - time in, time out for a break, time back in after a break, and time finished for the day.  

Tips -

  • Use 24 hour time.
  •  Use a 'Legislative Council' timesheet.  
  • Don't forget to sign your timesheet before the end of the pay fortnight. (or on your last day in the pay fortnight).
  • Write you role on the sheet - eg. 'Call Centre Operator'


Our pay period is a Wednesday to Wednesday fortnight.  

Casual staff are paid 'in arrears', which means it can take from 2 to 4 weeks for you first pay to appear in your bank account, depending on what point in the pay cycle you commence working.  Please see Rod Saunders if you have any specific queries about pay, superannuation, timesheets and the like.


You are entitled to 30mins break time for every 5 hours worked.  You can take this as 2x 15 min breaks if you prefer.

It is vital that breaks are co-ordinated between all staff responsible for answering the phones / counter, to ensure there is sufficient coverage at all time.  Please organise your breaks through Rennie.


If you're not used to Apple iMacs, it shouldn't take to long, but don't hesitate to ask for help!  

You do not need to shut down at the end of the day, as backups and updates can occur overnight.


The desk you have today, may not be the desk you have next time, as we rotate to ensure as many people as possible are near the front counter.  

About the Tasmanian Legislative Council. (ref)

About Tasmania's Legislative Council

Q.  What is the Legislative Council?

A.   The Legislative Council is the upper House of the Tasmanian Parliament. There are 15 Legislative Council divisions each represented by one member. Elections are held each year for 2 or 3 divisions. Members are elected for a term of 6 years. 

Q.  What Legislative Council divisions are going to election this year?

A.   This year the divisions of Elwick and Apsley, are going to election. 

Election Timetable

2016 Election Timetable:

Issue of writs + rolls close                           6pm        Monday 4 April
(this means the election period has begun)

Close of nominations                                   12 noon Thursday 14 April
(any nominations after 12 noon will not be accepted.)

Announcement of nominations               12 noon Friday 15 April

Early Voting Centres  available from       Monday 18 April  
(check the early voting section for exact dates & locations)

Polling Day                                                        8am – 6pm Saturday 7 May

Some background:

  • The 'Writ' is a legal document signed by the Governor that authorises an election.  It has important electoral details like the date of the election and the date the result must be known.
  • Close of Nominations - due to your work in our office, you may know some information about who / how many / where in regards to candidates.  It is important that you treat this information as confidential until 12 noon on Friday, when the candidates are announced.
  • Early Voting - electors are permitted to apply for an early vote as soon as the candidates are announced, however it is generally available, from the Monday after nominations are announced.  



Understanding the TEC telephone system. (ref)

Getting familiar with the handset

About our Phone System

Our phones are a VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) system.

Incoming calls flow to a predetermined number of phones, depending on which phone is busy.

If a phone is not answered within 5 seconds, the call will 'flow' to another phone.  However, please do not wait for a call to come to you.  If a call remains unanswered, and you are available, please use the remote 'pickup' feature to answer the call. 

Let's get familiar with the handset:

While not on a call:

Your Phone is Ringing:

During a call:

Press next and we'll go into a little more detail.

Using the phone

Answering a call:

When your phone is ringing:

  • Lift handset; or

  • Press the 'answer 'soft key (the call will be on speakerphone).  Pickup the handset to take off speakerphone.

If you are using a headset:

  • press the call button on your headset; or
  • lift  headset off the dock

When another phone is ringing and you want to answer it:

  • Dial *98 then press the 'dial' softkey; or
  • Use the softkeys - press 'more' then 'pickup

Transferring a call:

  1.  Press the 'transfer' softkey
  2.  Dial the new number + press the 'send' softkey (or just wait)
  3.   Speak to your colleague about the call
  4.  Either press 'transfer' softkey again, or hang-up the handset to complete the transfer.

If you need to retrieve the call, as your colleague is not at the desk, or has asked you to take a message, press the 'cancel' soft key and the caller will be back with you.

Placing a Call on Hold or Mute:

It is very important that when you need to discuss something with someone else, you either mute the handset or place the caller on hold (depending on the circumstances).

  • The mute button is on the lower right of the handset (a picture of a microphone with a strike through it). When active, this button will glow red.
  • To hold button is on the lower left of the handset (a picture of a telephone with a pause button), or use the  'hold' softkey 
    • When active, the first busy lamp button the top corner of the handset will change from green to flashing red and the hold soft key label will now be labelled 'resume'.
  • To take a call off hold press the mute button again, or press the 'resume' soft key.

Placing a Call:

2 ways to call an External number

  • Lift the handset, dial the number (you may also need to press the 'dial' softkey); or
  • Dial the number before lifting the handset + press the 'dial' softkey.  You can then conduct the call on speaker, or lift the handset to speak.

Calling an Internal number

  • Dial the 4 digit extension number (found on the paper phone list); or
  • Use the directory list on your phone

Shortcut Codes:

  • Call Pickup  *98
  • Call Return  *69
  • Last Number Redial  *66

TEC phone procedures

Personal Calls

The TEC is a flexible workplace that recognises you have responsibilities outside work.

If possible, we prefer personal calls be limited to break times, and recommend using a room away from the front counter.

You are welcome to use the TEC phone for local calls. 

Answering Calls

Naturally a friendly, professional tone is important.

Do not allow the phone to 'ring out'.  If you are unable to answer a call, please do your best to ensure other staff can answer.

Handling Difficult Calls

If you have a difficult caller, please remain patient and calm.  Often a caller just needs to 'vent'.  
However, if things escalate too far, please transfer the call to a senior TEC staff member.  If you are subjected to abuse, advise the caller you are ending the call and hang up immediately.

A set of electoral terms and their meanings. (ref)

Electoral Terminology Glossary

Read and refer back to this glossary of some of the specialised terminology we use.


Specific information about enrolment to prepare you to answer queries. (ref)

About Enrolment in Tasmania

The state of Tasmania has a joint roll arrangement with the Commonwealth. Under this arrangement, the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) manages the Electoral Roll.  

However, naturally, many electors call us with enrolment queries. Below are answers to common enrolment queries we receive at the TEC, but always feel free to ask a member of TEC staff for assistance at any time, particularly if the caller has a non-standard query.

Where is enrolment information on the web?

The TEC website has enrolment information - direct callers to this spot >>>







Or direct callers to the AEC website - http://www.aec.gov.au


No - generally information from the electoral roll is NOT to be given out over the phone.  

Try this answer - "Due to privacy legislation and guidelines such information cannot be provided."


Yes - you can give limited assistance if they ask you to check their enrolment.  
        Follow these steps:

  1. Ask the caller for their name, address & date of birth 
  2.  Check the address details:
  3. If the details you see on the electronic roll are the same, you can confirm this with the caller.
    ​     If the address details are different, advise the caller of the address they are currently enrolled.  
  • Suggest they update their enrolment online via:
    • AEC website, or
    • using an enrolment form (available at Australia Post offices). 

Note - an elector who appears on the roll with no address is a 'silent elector'.  Refer their query to TEC staff.


You can ask for their details, and check if they are required to vote at the current election, but you cannot divulge any information.


Refer the caller to the AEC (ph 13 23 26).

The AEC has a form to apply for a person with dementia to be removed from the roll, which needs to be accompanied by a certificate from a doctor.

The next page will test you on your understanding of the above information.  

Hint - 

Make sure you're comfortable with the above information before moving to the next page.

Help callers understand ways they can vote if they are away from home on polling day. (ref)

FAQs about voting options for electors who will be away on polling day

I am travelling around Tasmania, how can I vote?

You can vote at any Tasmanian polling place on polling day.  Polling places will soon be listed on the TEC website www.tec.tas.gov.au, on the TEC phone app, and will be published in the relevant newspapers on the Thursday before polling day and on polling day.

We are unable to get to a polling place on polling day, what are our options?

Complete a pre-poll vote:

3 Weeks prior to polling day: 

Hobart -           TEC office, Level 2, 70 Collins St             18th April to 6 May
9am to 5pm weekdays (open till 6pm Friday 6 May)

2 Weeks prior to polling day: 

Launceston - Launceston LINC, 71 Civic Square        26th April to 6 May
9:30am to 5pm weekdays (open till 6pm Friday 6 May)

Last week prior to polling day: 

Glenorchy -     St Matthews Church, cnr Tolosa St & Main Rd      2 May to 6 May
9am to 5pm weekdays (open till 6pm Friday 6 May)

2 Days prior to polling day: 

9am to 5pm Thursday  and 9am to 6pm Friday

Scottsdale -     St Barnabas’ Church Hall, 55 King St    5 & 6 May

St Helens -       St Helens (Portland) Memorial Hall, Cecilia Street St    5 & 6 May

Triabunna -    Triabunna Council Chambers (Old) Recreation Room, 38 Vicary St     5 & 6 May


Apply for a postal vote to be sent to the address you will be at during the election period. 

We can arrange to send you* an application for a postal vote or you can pick one up from any post office, electoral office or download from our website www.tec.tas.gov.au – (and remind elector to include their enrolled address and the address to where they want the ballot paper sent).

Applications must be received by the Returning Officer before 6pm on Thursday 5 May.    If the vote material is to be sent overseas, the application must reach the Returning Officer earlier - by 6pm on Tuesday 3 May

Ballot papers need to be completed and put in the post before the close of the poll.

*NOTE - if you send out a postal application, send a reply paid envelope with it, for the correct division.  Applications and envelopes are on the front counter.


I am overseas during the polling period.

There are a two ways you can vote while travelling overseas:

Apply for a postal vote to be sent to an overseas address . 

We can post the elector an application for a postal vote or they can pick one up from any Tasmanian post office, AEC office or download from our website www.tec.tas.gov.au  (remind elector to include both their enrolled address and the mailing address for the ballot paper).
Remind electors that their Ballot papers need to be completed and put in the post before the close of the poll (6pm Saturday 7 May).

More details on express voting are available from our website www.tec.tas.gov.au


Apply for an Express vote  

  1.  The voter completes an online Express Vote application form.
  2.  The TEC will email or fax a ballot paper and a special vote declaration form. 
  3.  The voter must print and complete both the declaration form and the ballot paper and return them either as photos attached to an email or as a fax or sent via the post.

More details on express voting are available from our website www.tec.tas.gov.au

I am travelling interstate, how can I vote?

There are a number of ways you can still vote while travelling interstate:

You can vote at any electoral office across Australia during the pre-poll period (Monday 18 April to Friday 6 May). Soon after the announcement of the candidates, all other state and territory electoral commissions and any AEC electoral commission office.  You can vote at an electoral office up until the day before polling day.

To find the nearest AEC 13 23 26 and wait to speak to a person.
 Addresses of state electoral offices still to come
It is best to call before visiting to check when they are open and that they have received the ballot papers.


Apply for a postal vote  to be sent to the address you will be at during the election period.

We can mail you an application for a postal vote or you can pick one up from any post office, electoral office or download from our website www.tec.tas.gov.au

Ballot papers need to be completed and put in the post before the close of the poll (6pm Saturday 7 May).


If you are situated in a remote area where the postal service cannot sufficiently deliver your ballot paper to you in time, you can apply for an Express vote.  

Apply for an Express vote  

If you are situated in a remote area where the postal service cannot sufficiently deliver your ballot paper to you in time, you can apply for an Express vote.   (see details above in the Overseas section).

Maps of the Divisions that are due for election in 2016. (ref)

2016 Legislative Council Divisions

Apsley and Elwick are due for election in 2016.  

These maps help electors see the division boundaries.  

To know exactly which Division an elector is enrolled in, there are  additional options:

  1.   Check their enrolment on RMANs, if you have access; or
  2.  The elector can check their enrolment on the AEC site - https://oevf.aec.gov.au; or
  3.   Input their address into our 'My Reps' tool - but be aware this relies on the elector being correct about where they are currently enrolled. (watch the short screencast below the maps)


About Candidates' Electoral Advertising (ref)

Electoral Advertising

There are a number of provisions in the Electoral Act 2004 in relation to electoral advertising. The TEC outlines some of these provisions in the handbook that candidates are given. 

We will be reading the handbook in another section of this training.  



The following is a set of FAQs we often receive in relation to electoral enquiries.  
Remember - If you are not sure, or if you have any complicated queries, please refer to Nicole, Michelle or Andrew. 

When can signs be erected? I wish to complain about the placement of a sign.

The Electoral Act requires signs to be authorised (ie contains the name and address of the responsible person) but does not regulate placement of signs (apart from they must not be within 100 meters of a polling place or distributed on polling day). However many Councils have planning schemes which cover when and where electoral signs may be erected. Please contact the relevant council. See also information in the back of the candidates’ information booklet.

Is the advertising material properly authorised?

Any printed electoral matter that is printed, published, displayed or distributed must include: the name and address of the responsible person printed at the end in legible characters.

Address means a physical address (not a PO Box or electronic address) at which the person can be readily contacted.

Responsible person means the person taking responsibility for causing the electoral matter to be printed, published, displayed or distributed.

(Note – electoral matter does not need authorising if it is printed on an item of clothing, lapel badge, button, business card or visiting card, pencil, pen or balloon, or a letter or card on which the names and address of the sender appears)

I would like to make a complaint about printed advertising material that contains the name / photo / likeness of a candidate without that candidate’s consent

Refer to Nicole, Michelle or Andrew. This is generally an offence under the Electoral Act.

I have received a “robo” or automated telephone call

While these type of calls may be annoying to many people, they are not illegal. The Electoral Act does not cover such calls. 

 I have a complaint about a radio / tv advertisement

The Commonwealth Broadcasting Services Act regulates radio and tv advertising and no additional restrictions or requirements are contained in our State legislation. Any queries or concerns should be directed to CTA (Commercial Television Australia) or CRA (Commercial Radio Australia) through your local tv or radio station, Alternatively, contact the Australian Communication and Media Authority (ACMA – website is www.acma.gov.au) 

The next page will check some of your understanding of electoral advertising in Tasmanian parliamentary elections.

Where & How electors are informed about the election. (ref)

Direct Mail - Elector Brochure + Voter Card + GPV Mailout

Elector Brochure

Every elector who is enrolled in the divisions going to election will receive a personally addressed mailout that tells them it's their turn to vote.  

The mailout includes a personally addressed 'elector card' and a brochure with details for their division.

The Elector Brochure lists all the polling places in the division, as well as the pre-poll centres that will be in that division, as well as listing the candidates standing for election.  The brochures will be delivered over a number of days: Tues - Thurs 26-29 April.

(above is a sample from a previous election - a current sample will be added here following announcement of nominations)

The Elector Card contains a QR code + a barcode that polling places can use to find the elector on the roll much more quickly.  It is not essential that electors bring this to a polling place, but it will make things a little quicker for them.

General Postal Voters (GPV) mailout

Electors can apply to be on a General Postal Voters' list.  This means they are automatically sent postal vote materials, without needing to apply every time.  Electors on the GPV list often have physical  or other limitations that make attending a polling place too difficult.

The GPV mailout includes the above material, as well as a postal ballot pack, which contains ballot paper, instructions, a declaration envelope and a reply paid envelope.

The elector card and polling place information is included in the mailout in case the elector chooses to attend a polling place, rather than submit a postal vote.

Newspaper + TV + Other Advertising


The TEC advertises the election so that electors are aware that it is time to vote.  

Statutory Advertising

There are particular ads that are required by legislation - these are called Statutory Ads.  These include the newspaper ads announcing the issue of the writ, ads listing the candidates, and the polling places.

Election Awareness Advertising

This is the advertising campaign the TEC undertakes with the aim of making every elector aware of the election, and aware of their options for voting.  

In our Intranet (Honey) we'll post samples the ads you will see and hear, with an indication of when they will be published.  This will help you answer some phone queries - eg. some electors may claim they had no knowledge of the election, or you can direct electors to places where they can find a list of polling places.

Billboard Advertising

On Main St, Glenorchy, reminding voters in Elwick it's their turn to vote, between Monday 18 April to polling day (if Elwick goes to election).

The Digital Face of the TEC



Information, forms and results are available on the web for candidates, electors, media, students... anyone!

Direct any problems about the website (eg broken link) to Rod H or Wendy.

Smartphone App

For iPhones, Android phones and Windows 8 phones.

Electors can search their app store for 'ElectionsTas' and install the app on their phone.  You may be interested in installing it on your own phone also.

Direct any technical enquiries about the App to Wendy.


Electors can keep up-to-date via our ElectionsTas Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/ElectionsTas

You might want to follow the TEC also. :)

Direct any technical enquiries about Facebook to Wendy.


Information About Candidates

Where Can Electors find out about their Candidates?

The TEC will list the candidates in a statutory ad, on the elector brochures, and on the website and smartphone app.

However, the TEC is not responsible for promoting candidates and their platforms.  The candidates are responsible for promoting themselves, for example - road side signage, press interviews, advertising, door knocking etc.

Candidates - information for candidates (ref)


Candidate Handbook

The candidate handbook contains most of what candidates will need to know, however it is important that they obtain their own legal advice for any matters pertaining to the Legislation.  The TEC

(and you!) cannot provide legal advice, or even advice on how to campaign.  

You have been provided with a hardcopy of the handbook, and it is also here on our our website. 

The next few screens will guide you through reading sections of the handbook, so that you are prepared to answer simple queries from candidates, or potential candidates.

More complicated questions / queries can be directed to the  appropriate Returning Officer, or other TEC staff.

More about candidates

Pages 20 to 31 of the Candidate Handbook contain lots of  good information.  

During quiet times, please take the time to read them, however for this training session, we will stop here.

Getting familiar with the Candidate Info on the TEC website - 

Watch this screencast, then head to the TEC website and find the Candidate information web page:



Reporting the Death of an Elector (ref)

How to report the death of an elector

Often a relative will call us to report a death in the family.  While the AEC manages the electoral roll, we do try to do as much as we can not to overcomplicate things for people at such a distressing time.

Usually the death of an elector is picked up by the AEC during routine checks of the Births, Deaths and Marriages register.

However, we can also record some information and forward it to the AEC, using the 'Notification of Enrolment Change'  forms. You can find copies of these on the front counter.

Here's an overview of how to complete a Notification of Enrolment Change following the death of an elector:

Notes -

  • You only need to complete Part B and Part D
  • Once the form is complete, take to the front counter and date stamp it, then place in the AEC mail tray.

If, for some reason no forms are available, you can record the above information on your notepad and complete a form later in the day.  Also, see Rennie about getting some more forms printed!

Call Types (ref)


Observing Patterns of Calls / Enquiries

As the first contact, it is important that you observe patterns of the types and quantities of enquiries that we receive.

If you have noticed that you've answered a number of calls about the same issue, it is important to advise Michelle Davy (Comms Manager).

Non-Voter Fines / Penalties (ref)

About Non-Voter Fines / MPES penalties


It is compulsory to vote in Tasmanian Parliamentary elections.  After an election concludes, electors who were not recorded as having voted are issued with a fine.  If the elector does not respond to that letter with a reason for not voting, the fine continues to increase, and is managed by the Monetary Penalties Enforcement Service (MPES).  It can escalate to the loss of the elector's drivers' licence.

Electors can ask us to review their fine by completing an online form on our website.


Often a caller will explain that they have not received any letters.  This can be due to their enrolment not being up-to-date.  

Where to direct callers to

  1. Ask the caller if they have access to the internet.
  2. If yes, direct them to our website - then to the 'received a fine' button on the bottom right.
  3. Advise the caller to read the information and follow the link to the online form.
  4. The form will be submitted to the TEC,  and will be reviewed and revoked within 24hours.
  5. Advise the caller to follow the link to check their enrolment also.

If the caller has no internet access -  

You can complete our internal version of the request to review form on behalf of the caller if they are unable to complete our online form themselves.



Click each of the above images, read and experiment with the forms to become familiar (just don't press submit).

"I can't vote in this Election" (ref)

About Excuses for Not Voting in the Upcoming Election


People can notify the TEC that they will be unable to vote during the voting period.

It is important to outline the many options they have to cast their vote, including:

  • express vote for remote and overseas electors
  • postal vote applications
  • pre-poll centres
  • voting at any polling place on polling day

If the elector still cannot vote during the polling period, you can record their reason ('excuse') for not being able to vote, using this form.  

This will be evaluated after the election, and if the reason is seen as valid and sufficient, they will not be fined.  This decision is not made by you, it is up to the Electoral Commissioner.  You are just recording their excuse for later evaluation.

You can find the excuses form here - remember, this is for internal use only and not to be shared outside of the office.  



What else is going on at the TEC? (ref)

Central Highlands Council By-election

Queries about this election should be directed to Rod Huskins.

Click on the image above to open the by-election web page and familiarise yourself with the information so you can answer simple queries.