Complaint management

Customer complaints policy

The City of Onkaparinga is committed to enhancing customer satisfaction by creating a customer focussed environment that is open to feedback including complaints, and sees them as an opportunity to correct practices and procedures where warranted as well as resolve the matter.

PDF icon png Customer complaints policy (115K)

Complaint handling process

A person can make a complaint in a number of ways: by telephone, email or written letter; by visiting one of council's customer service offices or by completing the online request form. All complaints received by us will be treated seriously and complaintants treated courteously.

Complaints can vary greatly in their level of complexity and seriousness and it may not always be possible to resolve them at the first point of contact or you may not be satisified with the decision. Where complaints cannot be settled in the first instance we will ensure they are dealt with thorugh appropriate, more formal procedures by officers with the authority to make decisions. We will follow the escalation stages shown below.

Escalation to a more senior officer

If the circumstances indicate your complaint would be more appropriately handled at a higher level it will be referred to a more senior officer within that department.

Internal review of a decision (informal or formal)

If you are still not satisfied with how your complaint has been dealt with you may seek an 'internal management review' by the senior officer who has overall responsibility for the area or a formal review is available under section 270 of the Local Government Act 1999 (see council's Internal review of council decisions (s270) procedure).

Privacy and confidentiality

Your identity will only be made known to those involved in the process of investigating and resolving the complaint. The complaint will not be revealed or made public by the council, except where required by law.

Alternate process or remedies

There are some complaints which may be more properly dealt with by another process. For example:

  • Complaints against a Councillor or the Chief Executive Officer should be directed to the Mayor
  • Review of a Freedom of Information determination may be referred to the Ombudsman
  • Insurance claims will be referred to the Local Government Mutual Liability Scheme
  • Decisions made under legislation that have their own prescribed appeal procedures (for example appeals under the Development Act 1993 are dealt with by the Environment and Resources and Development Court )
  • Objections to property valuations should be referred to the Valuer General’s office
  • Appeals against orders made pursuant to s254 of the Local Government Act 1999.


The City of Onkaparinga is committed to being a Council of excellence and encourages the disclosure of public interest information by Elected Members, council officers and members of the public.

The Council’s Whistleblower Protection Policy describes how a person can make a disclosure, under the Whistleblowers Protection Act 1993, about misconduct, maladministration or corrupt activity by a public officer.   If a disclosure is made anonymously it is important that you include sufficient details and evidence to enable the matter to be investigated.

Council will investigate all appropriate disclosures of public interest information in a manner which promotes fair and objective treatment for all those involved and take all reasonable steps to protect a whistleblower from any form of harassment, intimidation, discrimination or threat of reprisal that may occur as a result of making a disclosure.