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Department of Premier and Cabinet

Making a complaint

There are different types of complaints that can be made about councils, councillors and council employees.  Complaints are made to different organisations, including the particular council involved in the complaint, depending on the issue about which the complaint is being made.   The following list provides details of various complaints that can be made and the links to how and where your complaint should be directed. 

Complaints about a council, councillor, General Manager or council employee for non-compliance or offences under the Local Government Act 1993 and related legislation

Any person may contact the Local Government Division to seek information about making a complaint where it is genuinely believed that a councillor, general manager or council employee may have committed an offence under the Local Government Act 1993 or related legislation, or failed to comply with the requirements of the Act or related legislation. A complaint can also be made if it is believed that a council may have failed to comply with legislative requirements.

The Director of Local Government will assess your complaint and undertake an investigation, if appropriate.

A general information guide PDF icon(PDF, 39KB) about the complaint-making process is provided for you to download.

You may initiate contact with the division regarding your complaint by telephone on 03 6232 7022 or by email at lgd@dpac.tas.gov.au.

The division can assist you, if necessary, to lodge a formal complaint with the Director of Local Government under the Local Government Act 1993

Complaints about council policies, procedures, purchasing and tender processes, services or fees

The resolution of complaints against councils is the responsibility of the respective council. The Local Government Act 1993  includes accountability measures under which councils can be held responsible to their communities for their actions and decisions.

Customer service charters

Councils must all have customer service charters. These charters explain how councils will deal with a complaint. Charters typically provide:

  • council policy on handling of complaints
  • the timeframe within which a response to a complaint will be given
  • details of how a decision on a complaint can be reviewed.

For more information, you can obtain a copy of your council's customer service charter from the council's website or directly from the council.

You can find contact details for your local council and links to the council's website in the Local Government Directory.

Codes for tenders and contracts

Under the Local Government Act 1993 all councils are required to have a code for tenders and contracts, providing a framework for best practice tendering and procurement methods and incorporating the following purchasing principles:

  • open and effective competition
  • value for money
  • enhancement of the capabilities of local business and industry
  • ethical behaviour and fair dealing.

The code for tenders and contracts is required to include a complaint resolution process. You can obtain a copy of your council's code from the council's website or directly from the council.

You can find contact details for your local council and links to the council's website in the Local Government Directory.top

Complaints about councillor conduct

Under the Local Government Act 1993 all councils must have a code of conduct. A code of conduct sets out the standard of behaviour that councillors are required to meet when carrying out their roles and functions.

The Local Government (General) Regulations 2005 provide the matters that need to be covered in a code of conduct, including:

  • conflicts of interest
  • the use of the office of councillor, mayor or deputy mayor
  • the use of council resources
  • the use of council information
  • the giving and receiving of gifts and benefits
  • relationships with the community, other councillors and council employees
  • the representation of the council.

If you believe that a councillor has failed to comply with his or her obligations under the code of conduct, you may make a written complaint to your mayor (or deputy mayor if the complaint relates to the mayor). Your complaint must provide details of the alleged failure and identify the complainant. It must also be lodged within 90 days of the alleged failure and be accompanied by the prescribed fee.

For more information, obtain a copy of your council's code of conduct from its website or directly from the council.

You can find contact details for your local council and links to the council's website in the Local Government Directory.top

Complaints about administrative actions of councils

A further avenue of investigation of complaints about administrative actions of councils is available through the Office of the Ombudsman.

The Ombudsman will expect the initial steps in resolution of a complaint, as outlined above, to have been completed before a complaint will be considered.

The Ombudsman can be contacted at:

Street address

Office of the Ombudsman
99 Bathurst Street  Hobart  TAS  7000

Postal address

GPO Box 960,
HOBART TAS 7001

Phone and email

Phone: 1800 001 170 

Email: ombudsman@justice.tas.gov.au 

More information about the Ombudsman's role and a complaint form that can be filled out online are available at Office of the Ombudsman

Complaints about  misconduct or unethical conduct of councillors and council employees

Complaints of misconduct or unethical conduct can be made to the Integrity Commission.  The Integrity Commission can be contacted at:

Street address

Surrey House
Level 2, 199 Macquarie Street  Hobart  TAS  7000

Postal address

GPO Box 822
Hobart  TAS   7001

Phone, fax and email

Telephone: 1300 720 289

Fax: 03 6233 7215

Email: integritycommission@integrity.tas.gov.au

Complaints about planning

Complaints concerning planning issues can be made to the Tasmanian Planning Commission.  The Tasmanian Planning Commission can be contacted at:

Street address

Level 4, 144 Macquarie Street Hobart  TAS  7000 
Hobart TAS 7001

Postal address

GPO Box 1691
Hobart  TAS  7001

Phone, fax and email

Telephone: 03 6233 2795

Fax: 03 6233 5400

Email: enquiry@planning.tas.gov.au

 

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