Council complaints

Step one: If you have a complaint about a council service, try to resolve it with the council first. The council will have a complaints process you can use to resolve issues. You can find details about your council at the Know Your Council website.
 
Step two: If you haven’t been able to resolve your service complaint with the council or your complaint is not about a service, you may consider contacting one of three integrity bodies. These bodies are the Victorian Ombudsman, the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC), and the Local Government Inspectorate.
 
The type of complaint you have will determine which body you should contact. You can find out more in this flowchart.
 
Alternatively, the relevant information from the flowchart is also provided below.

What type of complaint do you have about a council?

 

Statutory breaches

Complaint body: Local Government Inspectorate
 
The Inspectorate investigates matters related to council operations including criminal offences involving councillors, senior council officers or any person subject to the conflict of interest provisions of the Local Government Act 1989.
 
The Inspectorate accepts complaints about council operations and potential breaches of the Local Government Act including:
  • misuse of position
  • conflict of interest
  • disclosure of confidential information
  • electoral offences.
The inspectorate does not investigate complaints relating to council decisions or democratic processes, unless there is a breach of the Act. It does not look at services issues, such as bins not being collected, rate charges being too high or parking infringements.
 
Contact: Local Government Inspectorate
online complaint form: click here
ph: 1800 469 359

Maladministration

Complaint body: Victorian Ombudsman
 
The Ombudsman investigates the actions, decisions or conduct of public sector organisations and their staff. It also looks at whether a public sector organisation has acted in accordance with the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006.
 
The Ombudsman can take complaints about the actions and decisions of councils, including complaints about:
  • services
  • communication
  • complaint handling
  • compliance with policies, procedures or law
  • other actions or decisions which may be unreasonable.
The Ombudsman will generally not become involved in a complaint when:
  • you have not first attempted to resolve it with the council directly
  • the matter may be decided by a court or tribunal
  • the complaint is more than 12 months old.
Contact: Victorian Ombudsman
online complaint form: click here
ph: 9613 6222 (Melbourne) or 1800 806 314 (regional callers only).

Corruption

Complaint body: Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC)
 
IBAC is responsible for exposing and preventing corrupt conduct in the public sector. It deals with serious corruption and misconduct involving: Victoria Police, members of parliament, judges and magistrates, council employees and councillors and employees of state government departments and agencies.
 
IBAC accepts complaints about suspected corruption and misconduct in the public sector and Victoria Police, including:
  • taking or offering bribes
  • using a position of influence dishonestly
  • committing fraud or theft
  • misusing information from the workplace.
IBAC does not handle complaints about:
  • issues from other states or territories or federal matters
  • matters in the private sector, unless it relates to a Victorian public sector employee
  • rudeness or poor customer service.
Contact: IBAC
online complaint form: click here
ph: 1300 735 135