Project objective

Bayside City Council has developed a new draft Complaints Handling Policy in accordance with the Local Government Act 2020. All Councils are required under sections 106 and 107 of the Local Government Act 2020 (the Act) to prepare, adopt and comply with their Complaint Handling policy.

The Policy outlines how Council will manage complaints and provides a framework for the escalation process. The policy demonstrates our commitment to providing a fair and consistent process for customers to make a complaint to Council. We are committed to open, transparent conversations with our community about Council policies and are seeking feedback on the draft policy for the consideration of Council.

The draft Complaints Handling Policy defines what is considered a complaint and applies a consistent, Council-wide approach to complaint handling. The Policy aligns with the Victorian Ombudsman’s Good Practice Guide and additional requirements set by the new Local Government Act 2020 (the Act). The policy aims to:

  • provide an open and transparent complaint handling system
  • ensure staff handle complaints fairly and objectively
  • establish our timeframes for resolving complaints
  • clarify the roles and responsibilities of Council staff
  • set out how Council will record, respond to, and report on complaints to improve our service.

Project impacts

A new Complaint Handling Policy will strengthen Council’s commitment to exceptional customer experience. We want to make it easy for customers to complaint and take the appropriate action for resolution. Learning from complaints data will enable Council to identify trends and improve the services offered to the community.

The new Complaints Handling Policy will result in amendments to our current Customer Complaint Escalation Procedure. This will be reviewed to align with the updated Complaints Handling Policy, the requirements of the Local Government Act 2020 and with consideration given to the Victoria Ombudsman Good Practice Guide.

What information do we need from the community?

We invite public feedback on this new draft Complaints Handling Policy and would like to understand if you have any concerns or feedback on the policy.

What can the community influence?

  • Channels available to a customer to make a complaint
  • Definition of a complaint and a service request
  • Process and actions Council will take to manage and respond to Complaints
  • Timeframes to respond and resolve to a complaint
  • Fair methods to deal with unreasonable conduct by a complainant

What can't the community influence?

  • The legislative requirement for Council to have a Complaints Policy, in accordance with Sections 106 and 107 of the Local Government Act 2020
  • An outline of the types of complaints that are outside Council's responsibility and need to be managed by a separate statutory or legislative appeals process
  • Procedures for complaints about specific matters that are governed by specific statutory and regulatory processes e.g. Complaints about a Councillor or Public Interest Disclosure Act complaints and the process for dealing with these matters.
  • Roles and responsibilities of Council employees, managers and directors as well as the CEO and Office of the Mayor and Councillors
  • Legislative requirements for Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004
  • How Council will record complaints and adhere to the Privacy Act
  • The requirement for and provision of accessible channels to make a complaint

Stakeholders and community

This stakeholder assessment is a generalised understanding of sections of the community that have a connection to the project or matter. This information is used to understand the types of tools and techniques that will achieve the strongest and most effective outcomes for engagement and communication.

Impact: What level of change the stakeholder / community segment may experience as a result of the project / matter

Interest: What level of interest has been expressed or is anticipated

Influence: Reference to the IAP2 Spectrum

Stakeholder / community




Bayside community




Local community groups and organisations




People with limited literacy




People with limited access to and/or skill in digital technologies




People with lived experience of disability




Highly-engaged community members




Selected tools and techniques

The tools and techniques selected for this project are informed by the project content, stakeholders and type of feedback sought. The impact of COVID-19 restricts our ability for face-to-face communication, as well as slower distribution of printed mail.

Key tools for communicating the project

  • Email notification to Have Your Say members
  • Council website news item and e-newsletter, This Week in Bayside
  • Council social media channels
  • Direct email and/or addressed mail to key stakeholders.
  • Let’s Talk Bayside

Key methods for gathering feedback

  • Online engagement through Have Your Say, including opportunities to ask questions and provide feedback
  • Printed surveys and consultation materials including in accessible formats available on request

Project timelines

  • Timeline item 1 - active

    Community consultation

    7 October 2021 – 31 October 2021

    Find out more about how we're conducting community engagement on this project.

  • Timeline item 2 - incomplete

    Consideration of feedback

    November 2021.

    Revisions made to draft Complaint Handling Policy, if required.

  • Timeline item 3 - incomplete

    Complaints Handling Policy adopted

    23 November 2021

    Council expected to consider community feedback and adopting the proposed Complaint Handling Policy.

Decision-making process

The draft Policy will be open for community and stakeholder consultation between 6 October – 31 October 2021. It is expected that Council will consider community feedback at its meeting on 23 November and decide whether to adopt the proposed Complaints Handling Policy.

The agenda for this meeting, including the community engagement report, will be published on 17 November 2021 via Council's website. Project subscribers will be notified of the results of the engagement and the Council report at this time.

The 23 November 2021 Council meeting will be live-streamed via Council’s website. Interested members of the community can ask a question of this meeting or request to be heard.

To receive updates on this project, click on the blue 'subscribe' button at the top of this page.

More information

If you would like more information please contact Marie Guardabascio, Customer Experience Lead, via email to or call 03 9599 4827.