Managing Complaints

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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.

Administrative Action Complaints

Council has in place a formal "administrative action complaints process”, which provides customers with the opportunity to request a review of administrative decisions made by Council officers or Council where there are no other formal appeal provisions available under legislation or within Council.

An administrative action may include a decision, or a failure to make a decision, a failure to provide a written statement of reasons for a decision, an act, a failure to do an act, the formulation of a proposal or intention, or the making of a recommendation.

This complaints process is not about raising a "request for service", these should be made directly to Council’s customer service team.

If you are dissatisfied with administrative action taken by Council, you are encouraged to complete the Administrative Action Complaint Form(PDF, 77KB)  and submit to Council via:

Please see Council’s Complaints - Council Policy(PDF, 277KB)  and Administrative Complaints Management Process(PDF, 158KB) for more information.

A complainant who remains dissatisfied with Council's decision on an Administration Action Complaint may seek an external review of that decision from an appropriate oversight agency, including the Queensland Ombudsman

Complaints about a Councillor

The Code of Conduct for Councillors in Queensland sets out, for both Councillors and the community, the standards of behaviour expected of Councillors.

Pursuant to section 150O of the Local Government Act 2009, a person may make a complaint to the Independent Assessor about the conduct of a Councillor.

The Office of the Independent Assessor will assess all complaints received. The Assessor may also initiate their own investigation.

Complaints assessed as alleged misconduct may be investigated by the Office of the Independent Assessor and may, following a natural justice process, be referred to the independent Councillor Conduct Tribunal to decide.  Those complaints assessed as a suspected conduct breach may be referred back to Council for resolution.

If the Independent Assessor reasonably suspects a complaint or information involves, or may involve, corrupt conduct the Independent Assessor must notify the Crime and Corruption Commission.

If the complaint is vexatious or frivolous, it will be dismissed and the complainant advised. Please note that penalties apply for making frivolous and vexatious complaints.

For more information regarding making a complaint about the conduct of a Councillor, please visit the Office of the Independent Assessor website

Privacy Complaints

If you believe that Council has not dealt with your personal information in accordance with the Information Privacy Act 2009 (the IP Act), you may make a privacy complaint.

To lodge a privacy complaint, please submit your complaint in writing to:-

The IP Act provides Council must respond to your privacy complaint within 45 business days.  If you remain dissatisfied with Council's response, you may bring your privacy complaint to the Office of the Information Commissioner.  For more information of making privacy complaints, please refer to the Office of the Information Commissioner website.

Human Rights

Council is committed to protecting and promoting human rights by ensuring that human rights are considered when making, interpreting and applying laws, developing policies, and providing services to our community.

The Queensland Human Rights Act 2019 commenced on 1 July 2019 and obligations for public entities, including Council, commenced in full on 1 January 2020.

What are human rights?

Human rights apply to all individuals and are based on principles of freedom, respect, equality and dignity. Human rights recognise the inherent value of each person, regardless of background, where we live, what we look like, what we think or what we believe. In other words, human rights belong to all people by virtue of being human.

To ensure compliance and implementation of the Human Rights Act 2019, Council have adopted a Human Rights Policy(PDF, 255KB) .

 Human Rights Complaints

If you believe Council has breached your human rights obligations then you have the right to make a complaint.

The Human Rights Act 2019 provides that an individual must first raise a complaint directly with Council. Once 45 business days have elapsed, the person may refer the matter to the Queensland Human Rights Commission if the complaint has not been responded to or the person is not satisfied with the response.

If you would like to make a complaint to Council, you are encouraged to submit to Council via:

  • email - info@wdrc.qld.gov.au
  • post – Complaints Department, PO Box 551, Dalby Qld 4405.

For more information on the Human Rights Act 2019 please see the Queensland Human Rights Commission website.

Public Interest Disclosures

A public interest disclosure (PID) is a disclosure about wrongdoing in the public sector that serves the public interest. For an allegation to be considered a public interest disclosure under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2010 (the PID Act) it must be:

  • public interest information about serious wrongdoing or danger; and
  • an appropriate disclosure; and
  • made to a proper authority.

Members of the public can make a PID regarding:

  • A substantial and specific danger to public health and safety of a person with a disability;
  • A contravention of environmental law which is a substantial and specific danger to the environment; and
  • A reprisal.

Western Downs Regional Council has adopted a Public Interest Disclosure – Council Policy(PDF, 273KB)  and Public Interest Disclosure Procedure(PDF, 332KB) .

How do I make a PID?

A PID can be reported to any “proper authority”, for example:

  • The Mayor, CEO, or PID Coordinator of Western Downs Regional Council
  • Crime & Corruption Commission
  • Queensland Ombudsman’s office

To identify if Western Downs Regional Council is the proper authority to make your report to, you should consider who and what the report is about. Western Downs Regional Council would be authorised to receive a PID where:-

  • The disclosure is about the conduct of Council or its employees; or
  • Council is responsible for investigating the particular issue/s.

To make your PID –

  • In writing – Mark ‘Private and Confidential’ to PID Coordinator, Western Downs Regional Council, PO Box 551, Dalby Qld 4405
  • In writing via email – to PIDCoordinator@wdrc.qld.gov.au
  • By phone – asking to speak to the Customer Support and Governance Manager (PID Coordinator) – Ph 1300 268 624

The PID Coordinator will assess your disclosure, and if it does not fit the criteria of a PID, it will be dealt with under the appropriate complaints management process.

What if I want to make an anonymous PID?

You can make an anonymous PID. Remaining anonymous means you do not identify yourself as the discloser at any stage to anyone. However, anonymous PIDs are often more difficult to investigate. Council strongly encourages disclosers to identify themselves if possible.

If you do identify yourself to the person who receives your PID, Council shall make every effort to keep your identity confidential. Remember that Council will not be able to inform you of any action it takes if you remain anonymous.

What are my responsibilities as a discloser?

When making a PID, you have a responsibility to:

  • Provide honest and accurate information – deliberately providing false or misleading information is an offence;
  • Provide all information currently in your possession – you must not seek to investigate the matter yourself; and
  • Make the disclosure to someone you reasonably believe is the proper authority to receive the disclosure.
Where do I get more information?

Contact the Customer Support and Governance Manager within Council’s Governance Branch for more information.

The Queensland Ombudsman website provides fact sheets and information guidelines regarding PID’s and your rights and responsibilities.