Complaint management

The City of Onkaparinga is committed to enhancing customer satisfaction by creating a customer focussed environment that is open to feedback including complaints, and sees them as an opportunity to correct practices and procedures where warranted as well as resolve the matter.

A person can make a complaint by:

 Click here to view form.

All complaints received by us will be treated seriously and complainants treated respectfully. 

Council will follow the escalation stages shown below.


If the circumstances show your complaint would be more appropriately handled at a higher level it will be referred to a more senior officer within that department.


A Code of conduct for employees is prescribed in Schedule 2A of the Local Government (General) Regulations 2013 which governs the conduct of employees in relation to the receipt of gifts and benefits.

The City of Onkaparinga has also developed a code of conduct for employees, which sets out broader behavioural expectations for all employees. Both of these codes are to be read together and will be considered as one for the purposes of the resolution of external grievances and complaints administrative procedure.

code of conduct employees(PDF, 366KB)


There are some complaints which may be more properly dealt with by another process. For example:

  • Complaints against a Councillor or the Chief Executive Officer should be directed to the Mayor
  • Review of a Freedom of Information determination may be referred to the Ombudsman
  • Insurance claims will be referred to the Local Government Mutual Liability Scheme
  • Decisions made under legislation that have their own prescribed appeal procedures (for example appeals under the Development Act 1993 are dealt with by the Environment and Resources and Development Court)
  • Objections to property valuations should be referred to the Valuer General’s office
  • Appeals against orders made pursuant to s254 of the Local Government Act 1999.


An internal review is a process established under section 270 of the Local Government Act 1999 that enables any person affected by a decision to seek an internal review of the decision of the Council, Council employee or other persons acting on behalf of the Council. The Council considers internal reviews against the Council’s customer complaint policy.

In an internal review Council will examine the process by which the original decision was made. The internal review may or may not result in the disputed decision being reconsidered or overturned.

resolution of external grievances and complaints administrative procedure(PDF, 355KB)

You may apply for an internal review of a range of decisions including (but not limited to) a policy, procedure, service or fee. A review is not available where:

  • alternative statutory processes are available to review or challenge the decision under particular legislation (for example theDevelopment Act 1993); or 
  • Parliament has intended that the legislation, under which the decision was made, should be the sole source of any rights for any review or challenge of the decision. 

Council will consider the availability of internal review on a case by case basis and against the Council’s internal review of councils decisions S270 procedure.


Applications for internal review must:

  • be made in writing to Council’s Chief Executive Officer at one of the following:

Postal Address: PO BOX 1, Noarlunga Centre SA 5168 
Civic Centre:      Ramsay Place Noarlunga Centre 5168

  • be made within six calendar months of the date of the decision the subject of the internal review (subject to the discretion of the Chief Executive Officer);
  • specifically request an internal review;
  • provide full details of the decision the subject of the internal review including the:
  • decision;
  • date of the decision;details of the person or body that made the decision;
  • reasons for seeking an internal review;
  • provide your name and contact details; and
  • comply with Council’s internal review of councils decisions S270 procedure


An application for internal review will be considered within 21 days of receipt of the application, however, in some circumstances it may take longer. You will be informed about the progress of the internal review and will be advised in writing of the outcome of the internal review procedure. 


Nothing prevents a person from making a complaint to the Ombudsman at any time under the Ombudsman Act 1972. The Ombudsman has the power to conduct an external review of the decision.


Your identity will only be made known to those involved in the investigation whilst resolving the complaint. The complaint will not be revealed or made public by the council, except where required by law.


The City of Onkaparinga is committed to being a Council of excellence and encourages the disclosure of public interest information by Elected Members, council officers and members of the public.

The Council’s Public Interest Disclosure Policy describes how a person can make a disclosure, under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2018, about misconduct, maladministration or corrupt activity by a public officer. If a disclosure is made anonymously it is important that you include enough details and evidence to enable the matter to be investigated.

Council will investigate all appropriate disclosures of public interest information in a manner which promotes fair treatment for all those involved and take all reasonable steps to protect a informant from any form of harassment, intimidation, discrimination or threat of reprisal that may occur as a result of making a disclosure.