The Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment is committed to effective complaints management.
All complaints made by persons external to the Department will be dealt with in a responsive, confidential and fair manner, and will be managed in accordance with our external complaints handling policy and procedures.
The Department values the privacy of every individual’s personal information and is committed to protecting any information we collect and use by compliance with the obligations provided under the Personal Information Protection Act 2004. It is important to note that, for DPIPWE to appropriately address complaints, it may be necessary for those handling the complaint to contact others to seek and clarify information.
What complaints are covered?
The Department considers an ‘external complaint’ to be:
A formal expression of dissatisfaction with an action taken, decision made or service provided by the Department, or a delay or failure in providing a service, taking an action, or making a decision, which has been lodged with the Department, where a response is expected.
The following will not be treated as a complaint under this process:
• A request for a review or appeal under legislation (where a formal review process already exists it must be followed).
• A request for a service
• A request for information
• Staff grievances
• Code of conduct complaints
• Public interest disclosures
How to make a complaint
Complaints can be submitted using the following methods:
To make a complaint in writing, you can download and complete the online complaint form or use it as a guide for writing to us. External Complaint Form
Return your written complaint to us marked “complaint” at:
DPIPWE – Policy Unit
GPO Box 44
Hobart Tasmania 7001
Or via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
To make a verbal complaint, you can contact us on 0418 537 065 and have the following information ready:
• your name and contact details
• full details of the events, dates and places concerning the complaint
• any evidence that supports the complaint
• the desired outcome.
What if I need assistance to make a complaint?
The Department is committed to providing all reasonable assistance to those who need help to effectively communicate in relation to a complaint. Assistance may include, for example, access to an interpreter service or agreement to a personal interview during which the details of your complaint can be written down on your behalf. More information can be found on the accessibility page on our website.
Resolving your complaint
Once we have your complaint we will work with you to resolve it.
The Department has a three-tier approach to handling complaints, designed to lead to the effective resolution of complaints at the earliest opportunity.
The three-tiered approach is summarised below:
Tier 1: Frontline resolution (Informal complaints)Wherever possible, complaints will be resolved informally at the frontline by the people involved. Once your complaint is received, the person handling your complaint will take action to ensure they fully understand the issue before endeavouring to resolve it directly with you. If the person to whom your informal complaint has been directed feels they are not the best person to deal with it, they will refer the complaint onto another person within the Department.
In the majority of cases, complaints will be able to be resolved without progressing beyond this first tier of the process.
Tier 2: Internal review (Make a formal complaint)Your complaint may be dealt with by way of internal review if it:
• Is of a very serious nature OR
• Has been referred by a Departmental employee who was handling the complaint at tier 1 level OR
• Has already been dealt with at tier 1 level and you are not satisfied with the outcome, and have lodged a formal complaint.
In these cases it is preferred though not essential that complaints are made in writing.
This second tier of complaint handling will involve an assessment and possible investigation of the complaint and decision/s already made.
In all cases of tier 2 complaints the Departmental officer responsible for handling the complaint will keep you up to date on progress and will ensure you receive written notice of the outcome.
Tier 3: Access to External Review
If you remain unsatisfied with the outcome of your complaint, recourse to external sources of review may be appropriate. Avenues of external review available in relation to the matter include the Tasmanian Ombudsman.