Complaints

If you have a problem or concern about the services, decisions or actions of City of Gold Coast, we would like to hear about it. Your feedback helps us improve the way we do things.

If you would like to report an issue or make a complaint about problems such as noise, graffiti, illegal parking or nuisance animals, use our online forms at Report a problem.

If you have a problem or concern about the services, decisions or actions of the City, please see below.

What is a complaint?

A complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction by a person directly affected by an administrative action of Council or a Council employee.

The City's complaints management process covers the following types of complaints:

Download the City's Complaints Management Policy(PDF, 510KB)

A complaint is not the same as a request for service, a request for information or an enquiry seeking clarification of an issue.

Examples of matters not classified as complaints include:

  • an enquiry to seek clarification or further information about the amounts of a rates bill
  • a request to the City to act on a barking dog, a noisy pool filter, a leaking water pipe or any other service
  • an enquiry made to the City on a particular development or compliance matter that is processed in accordance with the statutory or administrative timeframes established by the City.

Administrative action complaints

An administrative action complaint is a complaint about an administrative action of the City, such as:

  • a decision, or a failure to make a decision
  • an act, or failure to do an act
  • the formulation of a proposal or intention
  • the making of a recommendation.

An administrative action complaint must be made by someone directly affected by the decision or action, or acting on behalf of a directly affected person.

Examples of administrative action complaints include:

  • a decision not to remove a tree from Council land
  • a repeated complaint about a failure to fix a pothole
  • a proposal to close a Council facility
  • inadequate or wrong information contained in a report to Council.

Process

The City's administrative action complaints process has three stages of review.

1. Informal resolution (optional)

If you are unhappy with the original decision or action, you may raise the concern with the team responsible. The team will endeavour to address your concerns at the point of contact, or soon after.

2. Preliminary review

If you are unhappy with the original decision or action, or the informal resolution response, you may request a preliminary review.

A more senior officer in the same team as the original decision maker conducts the preliminary review.

When requesting a preliminary review, you will need to provide as much information as possible, including:

  • the decision or action that has occurred (where possible, note who you have spoken to about the matter)
  • why you are dissatisfied with the decision or action
  • any information you have in support of that position
  • what you would like to happen as a result of your request.

We anticipate preliminary reviews will be completed within 30 business days of receiving the request.

Lodge a preliminary review

3. Final review

If you are unhappy with the preliminary review response, you can request a final review from the City's Complaints Team.

The Complaints Team is an independent team, responsible for reviewing the evidence and information available and determining whether the decision in the preliminary review was the correct decision.

When requesting a final review, you will need to provide as much information as possible, including:

  • why the preliminary review response was wrong or unreasonable (where possible, note who you have spoken to about the matter)
  • any information you have in support of that position
  • what you would like to happen as a result of your request.

In lodging a final review request, please note that a mere disagreement of opinion is not considered to be a sufficient ground for review.

We anticipate final reviews will be completed within 45 business days of receiving the request.

Lodge a final review

4. External review

If you are unhappy with the City's final review response, you may contact an appropriate agency for external review.

Please note that any action the City proposes to take will not be automatically put on hold while the complaint is investigated.

Privacy complaints

Individuals may make complaints to the City if they believe it has failed to appropriately handle and manage their personal information. Examples of privacy complaints include:

  • a person complains that their personal information was disclosed to another party
  • a person complains that their personal information was lost.

A privacy complaint must be made by someone directly affected by the decision or action, or acting on behalf of a directly affected person.

Process

Council has a single-tier internal review process for privacy complaints.

If you believe your personal information has been mishandled, you may contact the City's Complaints Team for a review.

The Complaints Team is an independent team, responsible for reviewing the evidence and information available and determining whether a privacy breach has occurred.

When lodging a privacy complaint, you will need to provide as much information as possible, including:

  • what information you believe was mishandled
  • when this occurred
  • any information you have that would indicate a privacy breach has occurred
  • what you would like to see happen as a result of your complaint.

We anticipate reviews will be completed within 45 business days of receiving the complaint.

Lodge a privacy complaint

External review

If you are unhappy with the City's response, or the City has not provided you a response after 45 business days, you can make a complaint to the Office of the Information Commissioner.

Information about the Office of the Information Commissioner's process, including how to lodge a privacy complaint, is available on their website at www.oic.qld.gov.au

Complaints not covered by this process

The following types of complaints are dealt with by different Council processes:

When we may not investigate a complaint

We may decide not to investigate a complaint if:

  • it is considered trivial or vexatious
  • the complainant displays unreasonable conduct (including unreasonable persistence, unreasonable demands, unreasonable lack of cooperation, unreasonable arguments or unreasonable behaviours)
  • it is made 12 months or more after the event which gave rise to the complaint
  • it is made anonymously and there is insufficient information to investigate the complaint
  • the matter is complex and the complainant refuses to put it in writing
  • it is being considered through another review process, or it is appropriate that it be considered through another review process (for example, through the Magistrates Court or the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal)
  • there is a regulatory process that should be followed (for example, responding to a show cause notice).

Useful tips on resolving complaints

  1. Be clear and stick to the main facts. Tell us what happened and who was involved, why you are unhappy with the action or decision and what you are seeking.
  2. Ensure your request is reasonable, having regard for the City's competing priorities and limited resources. When using public resources and money, the City must act in the best interests of the public.
  3. Where possible, put your complaint in writing. If you need assistance in making your complaint, contact us or refer to 'Need help lodging your complaint' below.
  4. When interacting with our staff, please treat us with respect. We are here to help. Acts of violence or aggression towards staff will not be tolerated and may result in the City disengaging with you.

Make a complaint

Complete the online form below to make a complaint about:

  • Administrative actions and decisions of the City
  • Privacy
  • Other (complaint or enquiry of a general nature)

Make a complaint

Need help lodging your complaint

If our information is not in your language, please call the National Translating and Interpreting Service (NTIS) on 13 14 50. Advise the NTIS of your preferred language and ask to speak with City of Gold Coast Customer Service on 1300 GOLDCOAST (1300 465 326).

If you need assistance because of a hearing or speech impairment, please contact the National Relay Service on 13 36 77. If you can speak and hear but sometimes people have trouble understanding you, the number to call at the Relay Service is 1300 555 727.

If the person who wishes to complain is unable to do so due to poor health, distance, language, legal or other reasons, the complaint may be lodged by another person on their behalf.

Confidentiality & record keeping

Your identity will remain confidential. The City must comply with the Information Privacy Act 2009. Under this Act, personal information, including personal names and addresses, cannot be disclosed to anyone outside of the City without a person's consent, or as otherwise required by law.