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Office of the Commissioner for Sustainability and the Environment



Complaints

Do you have a complaint about the way the ACT Government is managing the environment?

Before you complain | How to make a complaint | Where to send your complaint

Under section 13 of the Commissioner for the Environment Act (1993) :
a person may make a complaint to the Commissioner about the management of the environment of the ACT by the Territory or a Territory authority.

If you would like to talk about how the Commissioner may act on your complaint please telephone us on 6207 2626. You will find it helpful to read everything else on this page before you ring.

Before you make a formal complaint

Before making a formal complaint to the Commissioner for Sustainability and the Environment you should first approach the agency you want to complain about. If you have not done this, the Commissioner may not investigate until you have tried to resolve the problem directly with the agency itself. Many agencies have internal complaint handling procedures that may be able to sort out the problem to your satisfaction.

Contact details for many government agencies can be found on their websites. If you don't know which agency you should approach, then go to the ACT Government directory  and type the issue you want to complain about into the 'Function or Service' box on the left hand side of that page. The page should then show some agencies you can contact. We can give you advice if you don't know who to contact.

There are some restrictions on how the Commissioner can respond to a complaint. For example, section 14 of the Act prevents the Commissioner from acting if the complaint is currently in any way before the courts or a tribunal (unless there is a very good reason to proceed).

Section 12 of the Act also sets out further restrictions. It would be useful for you to read sections 12, 13 and 14 of the Commissioner for the Environment Act 1993  before making a formal complaint.

How to make a complaint

If you want to make a formal complaint you must do so in writing—either on paper or by email. The information you must include is below.

  1. The name of the agency you wish to make a complaint about
  2. What it is you wish to complain about
  3. How the agency you are complaining about responded when you tried to resolve the problem with them
  4. If you have not tried to resolve the problem with the relevant agency, please tell us why
  5. Information about yourself:
    • your name
    • your address
    • your home telephone number
    • your daytime telephone number
  6. If you have any documentation that supports your complaint, please do not send it in initially. We will contact you and ask for further information at the appropriate stage. Relevant documentation could include copies of letters from agencies, photographs, copies of newspaper articles—it would be a good idea to have all this information ready to present to us.

Where to send your complaint

Send your written complaint to the Commissioner for Sustainability and the Environment to the email or postal address shown on the 'contacts' page.

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