The Shire’s Complaints Handling Policy serves to ensure complaints are dealt with fairly and impartially in resolving disputes between the Shire and complainants, without the need to make representations directly to external agencies.
What is a complaint?
A complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction with the Shire’s level and quality of service, policies or procedures. Dissatisfaction may arise from the service provided by Shire staff, Councillors, contractors and systems or from the impact of a particular policy or procedure.
A valid complaint is one where it appears that the Shire has failed to respond appropriately to a request for service or not followed relevant policies or procedures.
A complaint does not include:
- requests for services
- requests for information or explanation of policies or procedures, or decisions of Council
- reports of damaged or faulty infrastructure (e.g. pothole in road)
- reports of hazards (eg. fallen tree branch)
- reports concerning neighbours or neighbouring properties (eg. noise or unauthorised building works)
- lodging an appeal in accordance with procedure or policy.
Complaint resolution process
The Shire has implemented a four level complaint management process:
Level 1: Frontline Complaint Handling
Staff are empowered to resolve complaints wherever possible at first contact. Staff will register complaints and the resolution/action taken.
Level 2: Internal Review – Operational
The Manager or Director responsible for the appropriate area will attempt to resolve the complaint by investigating the issue and providing a response to the complainant.
Level 3: Internal Review
The Internal Investigations Officer who is responsible for dealing with complaints from the public concerning Shire matters will review all unresolved complaints.
Level 4: External Review
Complaints, still unresolved may be referred externally.
This may include:
- alternative dispute resolution procedure, such as mediation or conciliation.
- complaint referred to external agency, such as Ombudsman.
- complainant informed of appeal procedure or other legal remedy.
The identity of a complainant will not be disclosed if they request that their details remain confidential.
Lodging a complaint
Complaints may be lodged with the Mornington Peninsula Shire:
In person at our Customer Service Centres
By telephone: 1300 850 600
By post: Private Bag 1000 Rosebud, Victoria 3939
By email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please provide a brief description of the complaint together with your name, address, and contact phone numbers.
All complaints will be acknowledged within 12 working days of their lodgement. Investigations and internal reviews will commence within 15 working days and the complainant will be informed of progress.
Complaints against staff
All complaints, received verbally or anonymously, alleging: corrupt conduct, conflict of interest breaches, improper use of position, criminal action or maladministration, are registered as detailed in the procedures set out in Council’s Complaints Handling Policy and are referred to the Internal Investigations Officer or the Chief Executive Officer.
Complaints of a serious nature will be dealt with in accordance with Council’s separate policies such as the Staff Code of Conduct or the Protected Disclosure Act.
Complaints against Councillors
Our Complaints Handling Policy sets out the procedure for dealing with complaints against Councillors.
There are a number of agencies to which complaints can be referred for external review, dependent on the nature of the complaint, including:
The Victorian Ombudsman
Independent Broadbased Anti-corruption Commission
1300 735 135
Breaches of the Local Government Act
Local Government Inspectorate
1300 366 356
Discrimination, Disability and Harassment
Victorian Equal Opportunity & Human Rights Commission
1300 292 153
Breaches of the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014
Office of the Victorian Information Commissioner
1300 006 842