Make a complaint

We take complaints seriously and consider complaint handling part of our core business of serving the community and improving service delivery.

To make sure any complaint you might have is handled fairly and as quickly as possible, Council has policies and procedures in place. These policies help both you and Council officers understand the steps in the process and keep it fair and consistent.

We are committed to:

  • making it easy for members of the public to make complaints about the Council and its services
  • responding to complaints by taking action to resolve complaints as quickly as possible
  • learning from complaints to improve our services.

Complaints handling - Council policy(PDF, 220KB)

Making a complaint

A complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction with:

  • the quality of an action taken, decision made or service provided by a member of Council staff or a contractor engaged by the Council; or
  • the delay by a member of Council staff or a contractor engaged by the Council in taking an action, making a decision or providing a service; or
  • a policy or decision made by a Council or a member of Council staff or a contractor.

Our complaints policy applies to all complaints from members of the public about Council staff, volunteers, Council contractors and decisions made at Council meetings.

This policy does not apply to complaints about individual Councillors.

Make a complaint

Or you can:

  • call our Customer Service Team on5261 0600
  • tell us in person at the Council office - 1 Merrijig Drive Torquay or
  • send a letter to Surf Coast Shire Council PO Box 350 Torquay VIC 3228.

Complaints should include the following information if relevant:

  • The date, time, location or event; 
  • the nature and description of the complaints; and
  • a statement identifying what you seek as an acceptable outcome by way of resolution.

How we'll deal with your complaint

  • When we receive your complaint, it will be recorded in our customer request system. You will receive confirmation from us that your complaint has been received and be provided with a customer reference number to assist in tracking your complaint.
  • We will direct your concern to the most appropriate person within the council, who will be responsible for keeping you up to date on the progress of your complaint.
  • Complaints are acknowledged within five business days. In some instances this might be sufficient time to resolve the matter.

If it the matter is complex and requires a more detailed investigation the acknowledgement will include:

  • Confirmation on what the complaint is about and the outcome the complainant is seeking.
  • The name and contact details of the officer investigating the complaint.
  • The estimated length of time it may take to resolve.
  • A timeframe for when you can next expect an update from us.

We will do our best to investigate and resolve your complaint within 20 working days.

Throughout the process, we may need to contact you to discuss your concerns or to ask for more information. Providing us with current contact details (such as a telephone number or email address) will ensure we provide a response as soon as possible.

After investigating, we will respond and aim to resolve your complaint, giving reasons for our view.

You should be aware that by lodging a complaint, the matter in question will not be automatically suspended or put on hold.

If you’re still not satisfied with the outcome

If you are not happy with our response – or do not agree with the outcome – you can request a review. A review can be either an Internal Review, where a senior council officer will then review the complaint and notify you of the findings once the review is completed. 

If you are still not satisfied with the outcome of a complaint - do not wish to have an Internal Review – or if the complaint remains unresolved – you can seek assistance from the Victorian Ombudsman. The Victorian Ombudsman will conduct an external review of Council's investigation.

You are only required to have your matter investigated by Council in the first instance under the complaint handling policy before approaching the Victorian Ombudsman for assistance.