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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.

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 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

The local government code of conduct framework is prescribed under Part 3, Division 3A (Code of conduct, complaints and complaint resolution) of the Local Government Act 1993 (the Act).

For more information see the overview of the Local Government Code of Conduct framework under the Act (PDF, 653KB).

Each council has a Code of Conduct which sets out the standard of behaviour that councillors are required to meet when carrying out their roles and functions. The standards of behaviour that are included in each council’s Code of Conduct are:

  1. Decision making
  2. Conflict of interest
  3. Use of office
  4. Use of resources
  5. Use of information
  6. Gifts and benefits
  7. Relationships with the community, councillors and council employees
  8. Representation

A person may make a code of conduct complaint against one councillor in relation to the contravention by the councillor of the relevant council’s code of conduct.

A person may make a complaint against more than one councillor if the complaint relates to the same behaviour and the same code of conduct contravention.

Code of conduct complaints are lodged with the general manager of the relevant council and must

  • be in writing;
  • state the name and address of the person making the complaint (complainant);
  • state the name of each councillor against whom the complaint is made;
  • state the provisions of the relevant code of conduct that the councillor has allegedly contravened;
  • contain details of the behaviour of each councillor that constitutes the alleged contravention;
  • be lodged with the general manager within six months after the councillor or councillors against whom the complaint is made allegedly committed the contravention of the code of conduct; and
  • be accompanied by the code of conduct complaint lodgement fee.

To lodge a complaint please access the Local Government Code of Conduct Complaint Lodgement Form (PDF, 24KB).

Once satisfied that the code of conduct complaint meets prescribed requirements, the general manager forwards the complaint to the Code of Conduct Panel.

You can 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
Level 6, 86 Collins Street  Hobart  TAS  7000

Postal address

GPO Box 960,
HOBART TAS 7001

Phone and email

Phone: 1800 001 170 or (03) 6166 4566

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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