We take complaints about Councils. Find out how we can help.

Councils provide more than 100 services and enforce various laws for their communities. Every Council should have processes to deal with complaints they receive.

What type of complaints can we take?

We take complaints about the actions and decisions of Councils, including:

  • services (eg bin collection, local road maintenance, parking fines)
  • poor customer service or communication
  • how the Council responded to your complaint
  • compliance with policies, procedures or law
  • other actions or decisions which may be unreasonable.

We ask that you complain to the Council first. Try resolving the matter with the relevant Council department. If you are not successful, make a written complaint to the Council’s Chief Executive Officer.

If you’re not happy with the CEO’s response and the issue continues to affect you, we may be able to help.

We usually don’t take complaints about Councils when:

  • you have not attempted to resolve it with the Council first
  • a tribunal or court (eg VCAT, Magistrates’ Court) can decide the matter
  • your complaint is more than 12 months old.

What complaints are handled by other integrity organisations?

Suspected corruption and misconduct

If you suspect a Councillor or Council employee of:
  • taking or offering bribes
  • using a position of influence dishonestly
  • committing fraud or theft
  • misusing information from the workplace.
Report it to the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC).

You can report improper conduct to us too. We will decide if it needs to go to IBAC.

Breaches of the Local Government Act

If your complaint involves Councillors, senior Council employees or any person subject to the conflict of interest provisions of the Local Government Act 1989 (Vic):
  • misusing their position
  • dealing inappropriately with a conflict of interest
  • disclosing confidential information
  • committing electoral offences.
You should report it to the Local Government Inspectorate .

Rates and charges

We have a limited role in matters to do with rates and charges. This is because there are other established objection processes you can use. A tribunal or court will often decide on these matters.

We can look into:

We may be able to consider your complaint where the Council has failed to:

  • send you a notice 14 days before the date on which the first payment of rates or charges is due
  • notify you of a valuation, as required under the Valuation of Land Act 1960 (Vic)
  • register your change of address. You will need to provide evidence that you told the Council in writing of this change.

We can also get involved in matters to do with:

Financial hardship

You may be able to apply to the Council for a deferral or waiver of your rates and charges, if you are:

  • experiencing financial hardship
  • are entitled to a concession.

Councils have some discretion over whether they approve these applications. We can look into whether a Council has unreasonably applied its discretion.

We usually don’t look into:

You can contact us for advice on the following matters. But we are unlikely to look into your complaint. This is because there are other special complaint processes you can use.

Complaints about valuation of land.
For information about the objection process: Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning .

Complaints about a special rate or special charge
For information about the objection process: Know Your Council .

Search for contact details for your Council: Know Your Council


Looking to make a complaint?

Use our online form to create and submit your complaint