Complaints & Compliments

Understanding your experience is important to us and helps us to improve our services in the future. Use our Complaints and Compliments Feedback Form to provide your feedback to Council.

Feedback Form

Making a complaint

We are committed to providing excellent service to our community.  Submitting a complaint is a way to let us know that you are dissatisfied with the quality of an action taken, decision made, or service provided by Colac Otway Shire or its contractor, or a delay or failure in providing a service, taking action, or making a decision by an agency or its contractor.

To make a complaint or provide a compliment you can submit a request using the button on this page or you can:

  • Email 
  • Mail to Colac Otway Shire, PO Box 283 Colac Victoria 3250
  • Drop into the Colac or Apollo Bay service centres
  • Contact the Shire by phone 5232 9400

Council attends to these enquiries during business hours only and can be contacted between the hours of 8.30am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

Urgent requests outside of these hours will be attended to by our After Hours Service on 03 5232 5400 and escalated to the appropriate area.

The personal information requested is required primarily to manage the provision of service requested in accordance with the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 and will only be shared with those directly responsible for providing that service. Should you wish to remain anonymous Council will be unable to contact you or inform you of the outcome. Council may not be able to process your request unless sufficient information is provided to investigate the issue.

What happens once I submit a complaint?

We have a four-tiered approach to complaint handling, as follows:

  1. Frontline resolution: When frontline staff receive a complaint they will assess it and if possible resolve it immediately.

  2. Investigation: If frontline staff cannot resolve the complaint, they will refer it to an officer for investigation. 

    We will acknowledge your complaint within 10 days letting you know who will respond to your complaint and their contact details. Your complaint will be investigated and we will provide a resolution to your complaint within 28 days, or advise you if extra time is required.

  3. Internal review: If you are not satisfied that the complaint has been resolved or handled correctly, you may request an internal review. All matters for internal review are escalated to a General Manager or Executive Manager. The General Manager or Executive Manager that conducts the internal review will not have been involved in the original investigation.

  4. External Review: If you are not satisfied with the process or outcome of the internal review, you will be informed of any external review options, for example the Victorian Ombudsman. Appendix 1 of the Colac Otway Shire Complaints Policy lists various complaints handling organisations. 

Please follow the link to the Complaints Policy. It is in the Governance section of the Council Policies page. 

IBAC’s website has a short video, flowchart and other information about who to contact if you have a complaint about a local council.