MEDIA STATEMENT - NSW Ombudsman annual report on Council complaints

Published on 01 February 2023


During the 2021-22 year a total of 60 complaints about MidCoast Council were lodged with the NSW Ombudsman.

The figures have been released in the NSW Ombudsman’s annual report and show that 2405 complaints were received across the State about councils, compared to 5746 complaints about the State Government.

“While we try to resolve complaints to provide a successful outcome for all parties, we are required to uphold the legislation and this means complainants are sometimes left unsatisfied with outcomes that are beyond our control,” Council’s General Manager, Adrian Panuccio explained.

“We do then encourage them to report the matter to an external agency if they feel that they have not been treated fairly.”

Mr Panuccio said of the 60 complaints that were received:

  • the NSW Ombudsman did not make any contact with Council on 51 of them to investigate further.

Of the remaining nine the majority of the complaints related to neighbouring activities or road conditions:

  • for eight no further action was taken by the Ombudsman and they were referred back to Council to review what had taken place. In all eight cases Council had already acted upon the complaints, however the complainant chose to refer the matter to the NSW Ombudsman;
  • in only one of the 60 cases did the Ombudsman ask for further information, which comprised actions and responses sent to the complainant. Following the provision of the information, the Ombudsman closed their file and did not investigate further.

While there were 60 complaints, all were dealt with satisfactorily by Council and the NSW Ombudsman had no further involvement.