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Managing the Complaints Process

General Complaints Process

Western Downs Regional Council intends to provide a level of customer service that does not attract complaints, but acknowledges the right of persons to provide feedback, both positive and negative, on its services and/or to lodge a complaint about a decision or other action it takes. The complaints process has been instituted to ensure that, to the greatest practical extent, any complaint is dealt with fairly, promptly, professionally, in confidence (subject to any legal requirements and in a manner respectful to the complainant.

Council’s Complaints Management Policy outlines the process for dealing with administrative complaints. An ‘Administrative Action Complaint’ is defined as a complaint about a local government’s:

  • decision, or failure to make a decision (including failure to provide a written statement for reasons for a decision);
  • act, or failure to do an act;
  • formulation of a proposal or intention; or
  • making of a recommendation.

Complaints Fact Sheet


Complaints about Councillors

For complaints about the conduct or performance of a Councillor, these will be assessed by the Chief Executive Officer (CEO). The CEO may appoint a mediator and/or investigator who will perform a preliminary assessment to determine whether your complaint is:

  1. frivolous and/or vexatious – no further action may be taken and you will be advised of the outcome
    of your complaint; or
  2. inappropriate conduct, misconduct, official misconduct or another matter (general complaint
    against local government).

If the Chief Executive Officer assesses that the complaint is:

Inappropriate Conduct – the matter will be referred to the Mayor to consider the appropriate action, which could result in a written reprimand. If it is a repeat of inappropriate conduct, the matter will be referred to the Department of Local Governments CEO as misconduct.

Misconduct – the matter will be referred to the Director General of the Department of Infrastructure and Planning to review if the complaint should be referred to a Regional Conduct Review Panel or Tribunal for investigation.

Official Misconduct – the matter will be referred to the Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) for review and if required, investigation. Find out further information on the Crime and Corruption Commission’s website or phone 1800 061 611.

Another matter – the complaint will be dealt with in the appropriate manner.


Confidentiality and Information Privacy

The confidentiality of witnesses and information is respected at all times. However, our ability to keep your information confidential may be limited depending on the seriousness of the suspected misconduct, right to information legislation and other legal processes.

Western Downs Regional Council will collect your personal information for the purposes of assessing your complaint and to ensure that Council is able to remain in contact with you regarding the status of your complaint.

Your personal information will only be accessed by employees and/or Councillors of Western Downs Regional Council. Some of this information may be given to: an external investigator for the purposes of investigation; the person complained about where the rules of natural justice requires; the Queensland Ombudsman in the event that a review of Council’s decision is requested; Council’s solicitor or insurance broker and/or underwriter where legal or insurance advice is required; the Crime and Misconduct Commission and Queensland Police Service in the event that the matter involves criminal conduct or official misconduct, and other authorised government agencies as required to process your complaint.

Subject to the above disclosures, your personal information will not be given to any other agency unless you have given us permission or we are authorised or required by law to do so.


How to lodge a complaint

Administrative complaints are to be directed to Council in writing (either by letter, facsimile, email or online via the complaints form) or verbally (in person at Council offices or by phone).
Complaints should be forwarded to:-
The Chief Executive Officer
Western Downs Regional Council
PO Box 551
Phone: 1300 COUNCIL (1300 268 624)
Fax: (07) 4679 4099
Or emailed to