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Make a Complaint

How to make a complaint... getting something done

Making an official complaint sounds serious, but it just means, providing feedback, reporting an issue, making a suggestion, or asking for better service. Many Councils are now changing the terms they use;  so the Council website may say 'fix a problem', 'contact us'  or even 'feedback'. 

Complaints Count

Councils count how many complaints they receive, 
how quickly they are handled, 
what they were about, 
and how much they cost .

Making a Complaint

  • Call the Call centre number, or fill in the online form on your Council's website. 
  • Be specific.  What is it that you want? 
  • Be objective.  Don't get personal, or emotive, be polite and if possible constructive!  If you have a good solution, tell them.
  • Get a call or complaint number, so that you can follow up.

What to complain about?

Specific Issues

Specific Issues are usually very easily dealt with, and covered under the Councils 'fix it' type feedback. These include:
  • Road safety 
    • Poorly placed road signs - Frequently road signs are randomly shoved onto the road side,  making it difficult to ride on rural berms, or spooking your horse.
    • Dangerous drains, or drain covers 
    • Landowners blocking off the verge with trees, gardens, or fences (this is illegal) 
  • Dumped rubbish
  • Damaged Council property - parks, trails, fences etc
  • Poor Council property - poorly built infrastructure - stuff that is dangerous to you or your horse(s)
  • Unformed legal roads with fences, locked gates or other obstructions on them

General Issues

These often involve a longer process, and you may be fobbed off initially.   Take the opportunity to learn how to change the thing you want.  Don't get angry, ask how you can work WITH the Council to create change.

  • Ask where the horse riding trails are, or complain that there aren't any.
  • Horses not permitted in parks, beaches or on trails
  • Lack of place to ride, or unsafe roads

See Also - making a submission

For general complaints, you may want to make it more like a submission, giving reasons why you are complaining and other information.  For instance, if you are complaining about the lack of riding areas, complain that this is shows a gender bias, or that it

Councils react, 
they are rarely proactive.

If you want something fixed, you need to complain.  

If you want to be noticed, you need to start making lots of complaints. 

Be prepared to work with your local Council constructively, but don't be afraid to stand up to them and make a noise if they try to ignore you.