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It is not uncommon for issues to arise between local councils and the residents or businesses who make up the local government area.  We have outlined a general process of dispute resolution that can be followed if such an issue were to arise.

Dispute Resolution Steps

Step One

The first step that should be taken in trying to resolve a dispute with a Local Council is to approach Council directly.  This is because Councils are autonomous bodies with rights and powers under law.  As such, many problems are able to be resolved directly with the Local Councils.

Step Two

If the first step fails to resolve the issue, you should write to the General Manager and request that they look into your complaint.  It is a good idea to allow the General Manager a reasonable time to respond to the complaint, so that they can liaise with the relevant department.  Usually, four weeks is a good time frame, however, if the problem is long or complex you should allow more time for a response.

Once the response is received, if you are unsure on what the response means, make further enquiries with the General Manager or Council.

Step Three

If your issue is still not resolved after input from the General Manager, you can approach one of your local Councillors or the Mayor for further assistance.

Step Four

The final step would be to seek legal assistance, or contact the NSW Ombudsman or Independent Commission Against Corruption.

At Matthews Folbigg Lawyers we have a strong understanding of the workings of local government.  If you would like assistance with a local council issue or assistance in any other planning, environment or local government matter.  Contact our expert team of planning lawyers, local government lawyers and environmental lawyers in Parramatta on 1800 300 308 or

DISCLAIMER: This article is provided to clients and readers for their general information and on a complimentary basis. It contains a brief summary only and should not be relied upon or used as definitive or complete statement of the relevant workplace law.