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Complaints and Disclosures
Please note: An Administrative Action Complaint is not for the reporting of a problem or issue. Instead visit the Contact Us page. For urgent and/or hazardous situations where public safety may be at risk please call Council on its 24-hour line (07) 4970 0700. If the situation is life threatening please call 000.
Council is dedicated to providing a level of service that does not attract complaints however acknowledges that there will be occasions where customers are unhappy with a decision or outcome.
We acknowledge your right to lodge an Administrative Action Complaint and to have the complaint dealt with fairly, objectively and in a timely manner.
An Administrative Action Complaint is a complaint that:
- is about an administrative action of a local government, including:
- a decision, or failure to make a decision;
- an act, or a failure to do an act;
- the formulation of a proposal or intention;
- the making of a recommendation; and
- is made by an affected person.
Complaints may be lodged by the Affected Person or their Agent or anonymously in the following ways:
- Online using Council's Online Services
- In person at any public Council office or to any Council Employee
- By email: email@example.com
- By downloading the online Administrative Action Complaint Form
- By telephone: (07) 4970 0700
- By fax: (07) 4975 8500
- By letter addressed to:
The Chief Executive Officer
Gladstone Regional Council
PO Box 29
Gladstone Qld 4680
If an Administrative Action Complaint is made anonymously there is no avenue for Council to contact the Affected Person, however an investigation will be undertaken provided the information given is adequate.
A public interest disclosure (PID) is a disclosure about wrongdoing in the public sector that serves the public interest. Council is committed to encouraging the reporting of wrongdoing or misconduct within Council.
For an allegation to be considered a PID under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2010, it must be an appropriate disclosure about public interest information made to a proper authority.
Who can make a PID?
Any person can make a disclosure about:
- Substantial and specific danger to health and safety of a person with a disability
- Substantial and specific danger to the environment
- Reprisal action.
A public officer (Councillor or officer of Council) can also make a disclosure about:
- Corrupt conduct
- Maladministration that adversely affects a person's interest in a substantial and specific way
- Substantial misuse of public resources
- Significant and substantial danger to public health or safety
- Significant and substantial danger to the environment.
What is reprisal?
This occurs when any person causes or attempts to cause detriment to another person because of or in the belief that a person has made or may make a PID.
Your disclosure can be made in writing or verbally to the Public Interest Disclosure Coordinator:
- In writing and addressed to the Public Interest Disclosure Coordinator by post or email to firstname.lastname@example.org
- By calling Council on (07) 4970 0700
- In person at one of Council’s customer service offices or rural transaction centres.
You can make an anonymous PID however this will often make the disclosure more difficult to investigate. We strongly encourage disclosers to identify themselves. Strict confidentiality is maintained at all times in relation to investigation and reporting of PIDs.
Council values feedback from its community in decision-making and in the provision of infrastructure and services. One form of feedback available to a group of individuals with a common issue is a petition.
What is a petition?
A petition is a written and signed request for Council to do something or to refrain from doing something. Petitions to Council must relate to matters which Council is authorised to determine.
Submissions are different to petitions. A submission is a comment on an issue or a proposal that Council is considering or has on public exhibition. Submissions are usually requested from interested parties such as neighbours to a property with a pending development application. Submissions do not have a minimum signature requirement and are considered as part of the planning process. This information on petitions does not relate to submissions.
Who should participate in petitions?
Council will accept written petitions from persons that have a direct interest in the Gladstone Regional Council local government area as residents, property owners, businesspeople or some other relevant capacity.
Form and content of a petition
Council will consider a petition which is signed by five (5) or more people with at least two (2) different residential addresses.
A valid petition will include:
- A clear and concise statement identifying the subject matter of the petition
- What action or outcome is being requested
- The number of pages in the petition and the number of signatures to the petition
- The full name, address, phone number and signature of the Principal Petitioner (the person lodging the petition).
- will be in English in legible and permanent written form
- will clearly indicate the request and outcome sought
- will not be defamatory, indecent or abusive and
- will not relate to a matter outside the Council’s powers and functions.
- each page of the petition will include the petition subject and outcome sought and be signed by at least one person
- each person who signs the petition must include their name and address details and
- a person may not sign a petition on behalf of anyone else except in cases where an authorising Power of Attorney exists.
It is recommended that those proposing to raise a petition use the Petition Template and accompany it with a Petition Lodgement Form provided by Council, or follow the structure of the template and form, which is available from Council’s website.
How to lodge a petition
Once a petition is complete, petitioners are requested to:
- Attach a Petition Lodgement Form with the Principal Petitioner’s details, or a cover letter and
- Post it to PO Box 29 Gladstone, Qld 4680 or deliver it to any of Council’s Offices during business hours. If a scanned copy of a petition is emailed/sent to Council, the original must also be posted/delivered.
What happens with a petition after it is lodged?
Upon receiving a petition, Council officers will determine whether a petition is valid. The General Manager will send an acknowledgement of the petition/correspondence to the Principal Petitioner.
Where a petition relates to a legislative, local law or policy matter, the General Manager will arrange for the petition to be tabled at a Councillor Information Session along with any supporting information considered appropriate (ie.Officer Briefing Report). Other petitions relating to operational matters will be dealt with administratively, however, the General Manager will provide a precise of the petition via email for the information of elected members.
In some circumstances Council may decide that a petition requires formal consideration at a General or Committee Meeting which is open to the public. In these instances, a precise of the petition (excluding any personal information of petitioners) will be tabled at the meeting along with appropriate supporting information if required.
Advice on the outcome of the petition will be provided to the Principal Petitioner. It is the responsibility of the Principal Petitioner to keep other petitioners informed.
Contact details of persons signing a petition will only be used by Council to verify that the signatories qualify as having a direct interest in the Gladstone Regional Local Government Area. Petitions addressed to Council would normally be considered public documents and the details contained within a petition would therefore be available for public inspection. Organisers of petitions should therefore not provide guarantees to people signing a petition to Council that their details contained within the petition will be kept confidential.
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