Hume council is one of the most complained about councils in Victoria, according the Victorian Ombudsman’s annual report.
The report, released earlier this month, shows the Victorian Ombudsman’s Office received 110 complaints about Hume council in the 12 months to July, making it the 5th most complained about council.
Moreland is the state’s most complained about council, with 151 complaints, followed by Geelong and Casey (115 complaints).
The Ombudsman’s office received 39 complaints about Macedon Ranges council.
Hume chief executive Domenic Isola said the council had received 5.1 complaints per 10,000 residents, which was lower than the state average of 5.4.
He said the council ranked 48th in terms of complaints once population was accounted for.
“Hume City Council has a customer complaints and feedback policy to guide how our staff manage complaints when they are received,” Mr Isola said. “As part of this, when requested and if there is not a statutory appeal process, council will conduct an internal/administrative review of decisions that have been made.
“Anyone in the community can make a complaint to the Victorian Ombudsman and as part of the customer complaints and feedback policy, council does advise people that option is available to them should they choose to use it.”
The Ombudsman’s annual report stated complaints about local government account for 22 per cent of all complaints made to the Ombudsman during the past financial year.
It said planning, nuisances, local laws, parking and rates were among the top complaints, with conflicts of interest, improper conduct, poor governance and complaint handling also prominent issues.
The report stated the figures did not reflect the number of substantiated complaints made about each council.
“If we do inquire into the complaint, in most cases we would seek to resolve it informally, rather than investigate,” the report stated.
Where a complaint is informally resolved, we do not determine whether the complaint is substantiated.”