Gympie Regional Council Meeting Chambers

Complaints management

We are committed to providing a level of customer service that does not attract complaints, however, we acknowledge the right of affected persons to provide feedback, both positive and negative, on our services and/or to lodge a complaint about a decision or other action we take.

 

What is a complaint?

A complaint is not a customer request for service, a request for information or an inquiry seeking clarification of an issue. 

A complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction by an affected person about an administrative action of council, which in the judgement of the receiving officer, is of sufficient substance to warrant action under the Administrative Action Process.

An administrative action complaint is a complaint that:

  1. is about an administrative action of a local government, including the following, for example:
    1. a decision, or a failure to make a decision, including a failure to provide a written statement of reasons for a decision;
    2. an act, or a failure to do an act;
    3. the formulation of a proposal or intention;
    4. the making of a recommendation; and
  2. is made by an affected person.

An affected person is a person who is apparently directly affected by an administrative action of a local government.

In deciding if a complaint is an administrative action complaint, it is irrelevant:

  1. how quickly the complaint was resolved; or
  2. to which area of a local government the complaint was made; or
  3. whether the complaint was a written or verbal complaint; or
  4. whether or not the complaint was made anonymously.

 

Our Administrative Action Complaint Process

An Administrative Action Complaints Process has been developed to manage complaints efficiently, effectively, objectively and fairly.

The Administrative Action Complaints Process does not apply to the following matters:

  • competitive neutrality complaints
  • councillor conduct including the mayor
  • staff conduct or a breach of the Code of Conduct for Council Officers;
  • Public interest disclosures
  • Anti-discrimination, Equal Employment Opportunity Policy or industrial matters including the Certified Agreement

These matters are dealt with under other formal legislative or Council processes. For more information, contact us.

 

How do I make a complaint?

Contact us to lodge a formal complaint. All written complaints must be addressed to the Chief Executive Officer, Gympie Regional Council, PO Box 155, Gympie Qld 4570.

Complaints may be made in writing, via email or by telephone. Complainants are strongly advised to provide their contact details so that additional information can be sought to fully investigate a matter as required. This further allows the complainant to be kept informed of Council’s decision on the complaint matter, and the reasons for that decision. In accordance with the legislation, Council is obliged to accept anonymous complaints.

Council provides every reasonable assistance to customers who for whatever reasons may have difficulty in understanding the complaint process, or who have difficulties in being able to lodge a formal complaint with Council via the appropriate means. Should you require further assistance in this regard please phone Customer Contact on 1300 307 800 or visit our Customer Service Centre.

 

How will my complaint be dealt with?

Administrative Action Complaints are dealt with in accordance with Council’s process. All complaints received will be assessed and categorised according to Council’s legislative obligations. Where necessary the complainant may be contacted to provide additional information in support of allegations made so that Council is in a position to correctly assess and investigate the matter.  In the case of anonymous complaints, an inability for Council to obtain further information from the complainant may see a complaint matter discontinued due to a lack of substance or evidence within the complaint as received.

Council will formally acknowledge receipt of Administrative Action Complaints and provide written advice to the complainant of its decision on the matter, when determined, including the reasons for that decision.

Complaint matters will be dealt with as promptly as possible acknowledging that some matters may involve complex issues, including referral to, and/or investigation by external agencies and third parties if required. As such, Council is not in a position to provide standardised time frames for resolving complaint matters. Where extended time frames are likely to occur in finalising a specific complaint matter, Council will inform the complainant in writing accordingly.

 

How do I lodge a claim for compensation against Council?

If you wish to report an incident and do not intend to make a claim for damages, you should contact us on 1300 307 800, or contact us here. (link to ‘contact us’)

This Notice of Incident and Claim Form  must be used if you wish to claim for property damage or loss you believe to be the result of Gympie Regional Council’s negligence or omission.

Council treats all claims seriously and the circumstances surrounding claims are investigated fully before making an informed decision. To ensure the accuracy of Council’s investigation and, to ensure that Council’s investigation is not prejudiced, all claims are to made within 30 days and must be received in writing.

If you believe you have sustained personal injuries as a result of this incident, you should not complete this form. You should seek independent legal advice as time limits may apply.

Gympie Regional Council is not liable for loss or damage arising out of all incidents on Council owned or maintained roads. In particular, the Council is unlikely to be liable for compensation where, in accordance with the relevant legislation such as the provisions of the Civil Liability Act 2003 (Qld):

  • property damage is sustained from a road if the Council had no prior knowledge of the hazard;
  • failure to inspect and repair a road in the circumstances when there was no prior knowledge of the hazard in question.

As all decisions are made with consideration to the Act and common law, please consider the circumstances carefully before making a claim as a favourable outcome will only result if there is sufficient weight of evidence to support the claim AND negligence on Council’s behalf can be demonstrated.

It is your responsibility to provide Council with sufficient evidence to support your allegations, including (but not limited to) the following:

  • Completion of the Notice of Incident Claim Form;
  • 2 x repair quotations, or a copy of the relevant repair invoice;
  • Photographs clearly depicting the loss or damage;
  • Photographs clearly depicting the alleged cause.

To submit your claim, you can choose one of these options:

  1. Email council@gympie.qld.gov.au 
  2. Send via mail to Gympie Regional Council, PO Box 155, Gympie Qld 4570

Deliver to Customer Service Centre, Town Hall, 2 Caledonian Hill, Gympie.

 

Review Options

Our Administrative Action Complaints Process has been developed to manage complaints efficiently, effectively, objectively and fairly. However, if a complainant is dissatisfied with the outcome, the matter can be referred to Council’s Chief Executive Officer for an Internal Review, unless the written advice of Council’s decision on the matter has been signed by the CEO as Council’s final and formal position on the complaint. Where a complainant remains dissatisfied with Council’s decision, the matter can be referred for External Review to the Queensland Ombudsman or to another relevant oversight agency.

 

Dealing with complaints involving the public official

Council is required, in consultation with the Chairman of the Crime and Corruption Commission, to develop and adopt a policy dealing with complaints involving its public official. In a local government context, the public official is Council's Chief Executive Officer. Council has adopted a relevant policy which requires all allegations of corrupt conduct made against its Chief Executive Officer to be referred to the Mayor. As part of implementing the policy, the Mayor has various obligations under the Crime and Corruption Act 2001 to notify the Commission of complaints received and to further deal with such matters appropriately in accordance with both the Act, and with any directions provided to the Mayor by the Commission.

Dealing with complaints involving the public official (OCPOL520)

 

Related information

Administrative Action Complaints Form

Public interest disclosures

Queensland Ombudsman