More than 8000 complaints were made to Whittlesea council last year, the highest number of council complaints in the state, according to a new Victorian Ombudsman’s report.
The ombudsman surveyed all local governments to determine how they define complaints and how many complaints they received in 2018.
Five councils failed to provide complaints data to the ombudsman.
Whittlesea topped the list of councils who did report the number of complaints received in 2018, with 8259 complaints recorded.
The ombudsman’s report noted that the majority of Whittlesea’s complaints related to missed bin collections.
The council reported there were 7617 missed bin complaints between April 30, 2018 and December 31, 2018.
Customer service inquiries about bins were transferred from the waste contractor to council’s customer service team on April 30, 2018.
Whittlesea council partnerships, planning and engagement director Liana Thompson said the ombudsman’s report was in response to a recommendation paper issued a few years ago about complaints handling.
Ms Thompson said the council adopted all of the paper’s recommendations, while other councils only adopted some.
“This means there is a variation in figures between councils as they all have different definitions of complaints and customer requests,” she said.
“The reason the City of Whittlesea’s complaints are higher is that we have a broader definition of complaint. Other councils classify a call for a missed bin, for example, as a customer service request but we classify it as a complaint.
“We understand residents have high expectations of us to deliver quality and timely services and we strive to deliver.”
Hume council reported 782 complaints during 2018. Communications, engagement and advocacy director Sue Haviland said complaints most commonly related to barking dogs, excessive noise from neighbours and litter bins requiring emptying.