Sunshine Coast Council (Council) is committed to delivering high quality customer service, and to acting fairly, ethically, responsibly and lawfully. Council has a customer service charter detailing its commitment to high quality customer service standards. However, it is recognised that at times, complaints may be made about standards of service delivery, the conduct of staff, and decisions relating to the application of organisational policies, procedures and practices.
Council will consider and investigate complaints made in accordance with its administrative action complaints management policy. This policy applies to all complaints within council’s jurisdiction, regardless of their nature. Council is currently working on the development of an Unreasonable Complainant Conduct Policy which will detail council's approach to managing the conduct of unreasonable complainants. In the interim, council currently relies on the recommendation provided by the Ombudsman on managing unreasonable complainant conduct.
Administrative action complaints do not include initial requests for service or reporting damage or faulty infrastructure. Requests for service (eg pothole repair, bin collection) should be submitted on line or via council’s Customer Contact Centre.
If a service request has been previously lodged and you are dissatisfied with how it was resolved, you can lodge a complaint in accordance with council's Administrative Action Complaints Management Process (AACMP). The AACMP outlines how council will investigate concerns about the services, actions or decisions of council.
The AACMP does not cover investigations into complaints about:
- Complaints made by a person who is not an "affected person"
- Any decision made under Local Law or State Legislation where there is a separate statutory review process
- Petitions to council about a matter
- Comments or submissions received during formal consultation or community engagement
- A follow up or further request for service that has not yet been completed by council but is still within the timeframes advised to the customer
- Complaints about Councillor conduct
- Matters that have already been subject to an internal review and an outcome has been determined
- Matters that may involve criminal offences, which should be reported to QPS
- Matters in which council has no jurisdiction, such as civil neighbour disputes, trespass, air traffic control
You can find more information in council's Administrative Action Complaints Management Process[738KB]
Anonymous complaints will be accepted however council's ability to adequately deal with and communicate about the issue may be impacted.
Requests for service
Any initial concerns you have, or a request for service, should be managed in the first instance by lodging a service request. This may include (for example) matters like:
- Street parking
- Animal management concerns (i.e. barking dogs)
- Public health concerns
- Pot holes in the road; or
- Bin collections
Staff conduct complaints
Council takes all allegations of fraudulent and/or corrupt behaviour seriously. In relation to suspicions of serious misconduct (i.e. fraud, corruption) you may direct your complaint immediately to the Ethical Standards Branch for investigation or complain directly to the Crime and Corruption Commission.
Human Rights complaints
Council is committed to acting compatibly with Human Rights.
The new Human Rights Act 2019 commenced in Queensland on 1 January 2020. The act recognises 23 human rights including property rights, cultural rights, privacy and reputational rights and the right to freedom of expression. Sunshine Coast Council is committed to ensuring that the 23 human rights are at the forefront of decision-making, service delivery and policy development.
Lodging a complaint
An act or a failure to do an act by a council employee: A council employee has done something (or not done something) that directly affects a private right of mine.
An action about a matter of administration that directly affected me: Administrative action includes:
- a decision and an act;
- failure to make a decision or do an act, including failure to provide a written statement of reasons for a decision;
- the formulation of a proposal or an intention;
- the making of a recommendation.
The unprofessional personal conduct of a council employee: A council employee has engaged in behaviour that I believe to be unprofessional, and not behaviour that relates to promoting the public good.
The misuse of authority of a council employee: A council employee has engaged in behaviour that I believe to be lacking in integrity and transparency and to constitute wrongdoing. Unethical conduct or fraud by council employees is not acceptable.
Misappropriation of unauthorised use of resources by a council employee: A council employee has been using council resources for their own personal gain, or the personal gain of family members or friends.
Behaviour by a council employee that I believe to be bribery or a secret commission: A council employee has:
- used their position or knowledge to pass on confidential information;
- promised not to undertake enforcement action if I paid them/provided them a gift;
- stolen council resources; or
- employed a family member or friend without following council policies and procedures.
How to lodge a Human Rights complaint
If you wish to make a complaint regarding Council’s fulfillment of its obligations in relation to your human rights you should contact Council directly.
Council will endeavour to respond to and resolve your complaint within 45 business days. Should you feel that Council has not adequately responded to your complaint you may then make a complaint to the Human Rights Commissioner. The Queensland Human Rights Commission website provides more information about Human Rights.
To lodge an administrative action complaint please complete the Administrative Action Complaints form[612KB].
Complaint forms should be emailed to [email protected]
You can lodge a complaint by contacting council.
If you require interpreter services, or have special communication needs to complete an administrative action complaints form, please contact council for assistance.