Blue Mountains City Council aims to provide helpful and high-quality services. If you have a complaint about Council’s service, please let us know so that we can try to resolve the problem for you and improve our services for everyone.
Note: Council considers a complaint to be an expression of dissatisfaction about Council’s services, staff or handling of a complaint where you expect a response or resolution. Some complaints don’t fall within this scope and may be dealt with under separate processes or by different agencies. These complaints are listed in Council’s Complaints Handling Policy. Also, Council treats complaints via social media posts or apps as feedback only.
How to lodge a complaint
You can make a complaint in writing, over the phone or in person. You can contact us by:
Blue Mountains City Council
Locked Bag 1005
Katoomba NSW 2780
Phone: (02) 4780 5000 (upper Mountains) or 4723 5000 (lower Mountains)
In person at one of our Customer Service Centres:
- 2 Civic Place, Katoomba
- 104 Macquarie Rd, Springwood NSW 2777 (currently closed due to COVID-19)
You may find it helpful to lodge your complaint using the complaints reporting form at the bottom of this page. Using the form isn’t compulsory.
What to include in your complaint
To help us process your complaint, please explain what it’s about and include details such as:
- what happened
- when it happened
- where it happened
- who was involved
- whether it is still happening.
Please also tell us how you would like your complaint to be resolved. For example, would you like Council to:
- refund overcharged fees?
- apologise for a mistake it’s made?
- investigate an issue?
- do something to correct the problem (such as empty a bin it missed on collection day)?
We prefer you to provide your name and contact details so that we can check details with you to help us resolve the matter thoroughly. You’re welcome to make an anonymous complaint, but this may make it difficult for us to resolve the issue.
Who can make a complaint
Anyone can make a complaint to Council.
A family member, advocate, lawyer, Member of Parliament or organisation can make a complaint on your behalf as long as we have proof that you’ve given them permission to do so.
How we’ll handle your complaint
Below is a brief overview of Council’s complaints-handling process. The full process is set out in our Complaints Handling Policy.
Council’s customer service staff resolve most complaints at the outset. When this isn’t possible, they will record the details of your complaint, such as:
- your contact information
- issues you have raised and the outcome(s) you want
- additional support you might need.
They will then refer the complaint to a senior staff member, who will consider:
- how serious, complicated or urgent your complaint is
- whether it raises concerns about people’s health and safety
- how you’re being affected
- any risks if the complaint’s resolution is delayed
- whether a resolution requires involvement from other organisations.
Staff will then inform you about how they’ll proceed and will investigate your complaint.
At the end of the investigation, Council will let you know:
- the outcome of the complaint
- the reasons for its decisions
- the remedy it’s used or proposed
- your options for review or appeal.
If you’re unhappy with the outcome, the first step is to contact the staff member who handled your complaint to discuss your concerns. If you’re still unhappy after this, you can request a review.
Reviews are conducted by a different staff member from the one who handled your complaint initially. They may also be conducted by an external agency such as the NSW Ombudsman, the Office of Local Government, ICAC or the Information and Privacy Commission.
Council will try to resolve your complaint as soon as possible. However, the time it takes us depends on how complex the matter is.
If your complaint needs to be referred to a senior staff member or needs detailed investigation, we’ll try to contact you with an update within 15 working days. Staff will then try to resolve the complaint in the next 15 working days and will let you know of the outcome, including if they need more time.
What can you expect from Council staff?
Council staff will try to help you lodge your complaint and will keep you updated about its progress. They will be respectful, transparent, objective and fair.
They will also keep your information confidential as much as possible, but they may have to share it with other agencies. Details of when this might happen are set out in Council’s Complaints Handling Policy.
What Council expects from you
To help Council staff resolve your complaint, please give them clear and concise information. Please be willing to compromise, if necessary, because your desired outcome may not always be possible. Please also keep in mind that resolving complaints can be complex and time-consuming.
Always be respectful towards Council staff. Complaints that are expressed in a disrespectful, rude, threatening or unreasonable way may not be processed. Complainants who engage in unreasonable conduct will be managed in accordance with Council’s Unreasonable Complainant Conduct Policy.
Unreasonable complainant conduct
Council aims to treat all complainants with respect and to investigate their concerns.
At the same time, Council must have a system to manage unreasonable complainant conduct, which can significantly affect Council’s ability to deliver its services. Unreasonable complainant conduct can prevent public resources from being used equitably and efficiently and can compromise the safety of staff and other people visiting Council premises.
For these reasons, Council acts proactively to manage unreasonable complainant conduct and supports its staff to do the same.
Our Unreasonable Complainant Conduct Policy sets out how Council does this, covering matters such as:
- the kinds of behaviour that Council considers unreasonable
- the different ways in which Council might deal with such behaviour
- how Council will keep a complainant informed about actions it may take
- rights and responsibilities of Council staff and complainants
- how Council handles appeals and reviews
- how Council aims to protect staff from threatening behaviour.