Talking to your council
Your council can assist with most issues to provide a quick resolution. Select each topic from the list below to find out more about talking to your council.
Why talk to council first
Issues should be discussed directly with your council in the first instance. This is because most issues can only be resolved by the council. Disputes that are handled by the Office of Local Government and other agencies can often be resolved by first talking to council. This makes finding a fair resolution much faster.
Who to contact
Raising issues with council should be done in writing and delivered either by post or by email. Most councils also have an online portal on their website where you can submit your concerns. Web, postal and email addresses for each council can be found through the Local Government Directory.
Details of the issue
When raising issues with your council you should only address the immediate concerns of the issue. Details should be clear and to the point so council can assist in resolving the issue quickly and effectively. Including extensive details that are irrelevant to the situation will only limit council’s ability to resolve the issue and cause delays.
When to expect a response
For routine matters you should expect a response from your council within 4 weeks. More complex issues may take longer. It is important to remember that while an issue may seem simple to resolve there are other factors council must consider before providing a resolution. Excessive requests for a response will only cause delays.
If you are unhappy with the response
If you are unsatisfied with council’s response you can contact the General Manager requesting they look into the issue further. Council General Managers can be found through the Local Government Directory. Before contacting the General Manager you should first consider the reasons council provides for their response. If the proposed resolution is fair, benefits the whole community, and does not breach any legislation, policies, or guidelines it is unlikely that further investigation by the General Manager will deliver a more favourable outcome.
If the issue is not resolved
If your council is not meeting their obligations to resolve an issue you can direct your complaint to the appropriate authority. Please refer to What OLG can assist with and Issues handled by other agencies for more information.
When to contact Council first
Your council is the first point of contact for any issues or complaints about:
- Conflict of interest (non-financial)
- Councillor misconduct and code of conduct matters
- Customer service
- Development and planning decisions including development applications
- Financial management of Council
- Rates and charges
- Roads, traffic and parking
- Waste management or pollution (including noise pollution)
If a reasonable resolution cannot be provided by Council please refer to What OLG can assist with and Issues handled by other agencies to find the right agency to assist with your complaint.