The Regulation and Enforcement Division performs Council’s regulatory role which includes undertaking mandatory inspections, investigating approximately 10,000 customer requests (complaints) per year, issuing orders, issuing penalty notices, writing policies and undertaking education and compliance programs on various high profile topics.
The Division is charged with the responsibility of ensuring that Council’s approach to regulation and enforcement is both consistent and transparent and works directly with other agencies and community groups to make the city safer, cleaner, healthier and more accessible.
The Division currently delivers the following services:
Inspection of Regulated Health and Food Premises
- Skin penetration
- Caravan parks/mobile Homes
- Public swimming pools
Development Control and Compliance
- Illegal development and building works
- Unauthorised development and building works
- Land-use planning compliance
Environment Control and Compliance
- Littering and rubbish dumping investigation
- Illegal land clearing
- Noise/air/water complaint investigation
- Onsite septic systems
- Abandoned motor vehicles
- Tree removal
- Swimming pools and spas
- On and off street parking
- Mobility parking enforcement
- School zone enforcement
Animal Care and Control - Companion Animal management
- Patrols, impounding, housing, stock control,
- Roaming and barking dog complaints
- RSPCA contract management,
- Microchipping and registration enforcement
Submitting Complaints or Requests
Complaints or requests alleging unlawful activity can be submitted to Council either in writing or verbally. In either case the allegation will be recorded in Council’s computerised customer request management system and will be allocated a unique reference number. The request will be referred to the relevant Council Officer to commence any necessary investigation.
The name, address and contact details of the person submitting the complaint will also be recorded. This information is critical as Council may need to rely on evidence from the complainant to prove any alleged offence and commence enforcement action. Council will advise any complainants of the action, if any, taken or the reasons why no action was taken in the circumstances.
As outlined in Council’s Customer Service Policy 2008 and generally, information on this person will not be released. However, Council may be required to disclose this information in a variety of circumstances including the following:
- When access to the information is permitted under Legislation, including the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 or section 12 of the Local Government Act
- When access to the information is permitted under another Council Policy
- Legal proceedings are commenced and the information is disclosed in evidence served; and
- The nature of the allegation otherwise makes it a necessity; and,
- Supporting material provided by complainants but may not be able to be used as evidence.
Also, in some circumstances it may be possible to ascertain the identity of the person submitting the complaint by the nature of the allegation.
Anonymous Requests for investigations are frequently found to be unsubstantiated and result in resources being wasted. Contact names, addresses and phone numbers are important to confirm information or, if necessary, obtain additional information to allow investigations to be properly conducted.
Anonymous requests for disputes and grievances investigation have frequently been found to be as a result of a neighbourhood dispute or involve issues that Council should not be a party to.
Given this, anonymous requests will only be accepted in the following categories:
- Serious pollution events
- Swimming pool barrier safety
- Savage dogs
- Matters of a serious threat to public health or safety
- Sewer overflows
- Dangerous/unsafe buildings with immediate threat to life
Risk Based Approach
Our community has become more expectant of living in a healthy community in a liveable city where we value and protect our environment. It is understandable that a direct correlation of this expectation is that the number of laws and regulations have increased expanding the scope of necessary enforcement. From time to time complaints will exceed available resources. The Regulation and Enforcement Division uses a risk based resource allocation approach to assist in focusing resources on those matters posing the biggest risk to the community and the environment.
To this end, the Regulation & Enforcement Allocation of Resources Risk Matrix goes in part to identifying those risks. Additionally, the enforcement options contained in Sec 4.4 of Councils Enforcement Policy also assist in determining the allocation of resources in that matters either already on foot or being prepared, take precedence.