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Guide to Councils

Consultation and complaints

Councils are responsible for a wide range of activities. They make significant decisions that affect their municipality and will often consult with affected residents on these decisions. Your council’s website will provide more information on the services it offers.

    The What councils do section of this guide contains information to help you understand your council’s responsibilities.

    Different councils offer different services. In doing this, each one takes into account the needs of its residents as well as financial and legal restrictions that bind them.

    Many complaints can easily be resolved. To find out how to make a complaint, go to Complaints and resolutions.

        Council information available to the public

        Councils can be contacted by phone, fax, post, online and in person. Many councils offer translation services for residents who don’t speak English. Most councils also offer a teletypewriter service through the National Relay Service. This service is for deaf, hearing-impaired, or speech-impaired residents.

        There are a number of ways you can learn more about your council, how it works, and the services it offers.

        Councils are required by law to make available a range of important publications. Many of these are available both in print and online, and some by inspection.

        These publications include:

        Some documents are only available for inspection at council offices. These may be viewed and copied, but not removed. Councils may charge fees for inspection and copying. It is advisable to make an appointment with your council to arrange an inspection of a document.

        Websites and newsletters also provide residents with information about current events and issues, council projects and services, and summaries of the council plan or budget.

        Advertisements and editorials are often placed in local newspapers to give notice of pending decisions, actions or consultations. These are sometimes required by law, such as when it is proposed to close a road, open a tender or levy a special charge.

        This section includes:

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