Our vision and values
The Huon Valley Council’s responsibility is to provide services and amenities to residents and visitors in our region.
Our Strategic Plan 2015–2025 commits all Council officers and Councillors to deliver excellent services that are responsive, accessible and inclusive. Our aim is to work in partnership with the community. This is captured in our vision statement:
“Working together for a prosperous, vibrant and caring Huon Valley community”
In line with our roles and responsibilities as a local government authority, we promise to:
- Be open, fair and honest
- Respect our people, land and future
- Embrace diversity and new ideas
- Pursue community cohesion
These commitments apply to both Huon Valley Council as a local government authority, to each of our officers, elected Councillors, and businesses working for and on behalf of Council.
Our customer service commitment
We aim to provide the highest level of service to you, our customers, in everything we do. This means providing an appropriate range of quality services to different sectors of the community in a timely fashion and spending your ratepayer money in an efficient and cost-effective manner.
In every aspect of our organisation and in all our processes, we aim to do our best for the community as a whole.
Whether we are delivering services, maintaining Council assets, or building new ones, we will apply high standards of care. We aim to abide by all relevant standards, work with due diligence, undertake careful quality control, and try to minimise negative impacts on members of the community.
The Customer Service Charter
The Huon Valley Council Customer Service Charter outlines our commitment to providing excellent levels of customer service. It describes our responsibilities, our vision for the future and our determination to always act in the community’s best interests. We explain the different ways you can contact us, and how and when we will respond.
Download the Huon Valley Council Customer Service Charter.
Our officers and Councillors have committed to maintaining high standards of behaviour when talking to or corresponding with our customers.
This includes anyone having dealings with Huon Valley Council.
We agree to:
- Remain courteous, respectful and welcoming
- Recognise that assisting you is an important part of our role, and strive to do so to the best of our ability and in a timely fashion
- Listen to you carefully and treat you fairly, without bias or prejudice, taking into account your unique needs and circumstances
- Keep your personal information confidential unless you have given us express or implied permission to provide that information to others
- Act professionally, by arriving punctually to meetings and appointments
We want to make it as easy as possible for you to contact us. You can get in touch in any of the following ways:
- Visit our Customer Service Centre during office hours (8:20am to 5pm, Monday to Friday) at 40 Main Street, Huonville, and speak to our friendly customer service officers.
- Telephone us on (03) 6264 0300 between 8:20am and 5pm, Monday to Friday.
- Send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. This general email account is checked daily, and your email will be forwarded to an appropriate officer.
- Fill in the online contact form through our Online Services. You will be asked to select the category that best matches your enquiry and you can then write us a message.
- Alternatively, you can send us a letter, addressed to PO Box 210, Huonville, Tasmania 7109. Mail is checked daily and forwarded to the addressee or a relevant officer.
- If you are deaf, or have a hearing or speech impairment, you can contact us through the National Relay Service: teletypewriter (TTY) users phone 133 677 then ask for 03 6264 0300.
You can also contact us via our Councillors, who are able to pass on requests, questions or feedback to the right Council department.
Please note that our social media inboxes are not monitored, and we are not able to respond to every message, post and comment.
If your query cannot be answered during your first contact with us, it will be recorded in our information management system, together with your name, contact details, and date the enquiry was made. The nature and date of any subsequent conversations or investigations will also be entered against this record, including how and when we resolved your enquiry.
We recognise that despite our best efforts and intentions, there may be times when you think we have fallen short or have missed something. We always welcome your feedback and are committed to learning from our community and continually trying to do better.
If you need extra assistance to talk with us, please let us know and we will do what we can to provide or seek help for you.
If your request or issue is urgent, please tell us when you first make contact with us. We will do our best to meet your timeline, but it is important to recognise that we deal with a large volume of enquiries on a daily basis, and unfortunately cannot guarantee to respond to you by your deadline. Therefore, the quicker you can raise an issue with us, the quicker it can be resolved.
If the reason you need to talk to us is confidential or of a sensitive nature, please let us know during your first contact with us, so we can do our utmost to protect your privacy. If it is not possible for us to investigate your enquiry while also protecting your privacy, we will discuss the best way forward with you, before we proceed.
Finally, we respectfully ask that you treat our people in the same manner you expect to be treated by us. Please refrain from shouting, or using abusive, threatening or otherwise intimidating language and gestures, or using violence or other provocation.
We understand that you may be upset or angry, but our people are doing their best in sometimes difficult circumstances. The calmer you remain, the better we can understand your concerns and try to resolve them.
As well as supporting the health and wellbeing of our community, we have a duty of care towards the people who work for and with us. Therefore, if a member of staff, Councillor or contractor working for us, is intimidated, threatened or abused, our obligations under this Charter will not apply and our staff will end communication.
In cases involving serious or repeated inappropriate behaviour, the police may be notified and further contact with the Council may be restricted.
We have set ourselves high performance standards for responding quickly and appropriately to your enquiries and issues. For instance, we do our best to answer the telephone promptly and return telephone messages within two business days.
Our target response times to routine enquiries are detailed in the Service Levels document: Huon Valley Council Service Levels
It can take longer to reply to emails and letters, but we will strive to acknowledge receipt of your written enquiries within the timeframes set out in our Service Levels – although it may take longer to fully investigate and respond in detail to your query or concern.
We may need further information from you when investigating your query, and we might need to consult other people or agencies. In such cases, it can take time to receive replies to our questions. If an issue is taking longer than usual to investigate or resolve, we will do our best to keep you up to date on the progress. You may request a progress update at any time.
However, there will be times when we need to prioritise issues. At busy times we will prioritise investigating and mitigating safety hazards over (for instance) undertaking a roadside weed inspection. We will try to let you know when there is an unavoidable delay dealing with your issue and provide you with a reason for the delay.
During emergencies, for instance in the event of a major bushfire in our region, response times may be unavoidably extended until the crisis is over.
We understand that as the customer you can become frustrated when you feel that matters about which you feel strongly are not being dealt with as you wish. We consider it important that where this occurs, there is a clear framework for a customer to make a complaint and to have that considered.
A complaint under this Charter is an expression of dissatisfaction with a decision relating to, or level or quality of service provided by the Council, or behaviour of a Council officer or agent, which can be investigated and acted upon.
Other complaints will be considered through a structured process where legislation specifically makes provision for an appeal, internal or external review of a decision.
To ensure that a complaint can be properly recorded, considered, and responded to, a complaint should be made in writing on the form included in Attachment B to this Charter. You should explain your complaint and provide as much background as you can.
The Director of each department of the Council is responsible for handling complaints relevant to that department. This means that complaints made directly to the Councillors will be referred to the Director of the relevant department.
The General Manager will handle complaints relating to Councillors, noting that there are structured processes for Councillor Conduct in the Local Government Act 1993 and the Integrity Commission Act 2009.
The Director or General Manager will write to acknowledge receipt of your letter and to let you know how long it could take to decide on your complaint.
All the circumstances leading up to the complaint will be investigated, and the facts reviewed. You may be asked to provide further information during this process, and we may need to request information from other people or agencies. At the completion of the review, you will be informed in writing of the final decision.
This form is to be used specifically for complaints about the level or quality of service by Council, or behaviour of a Council Officer. This form is not to be used for a request for service (eg. to repair a section of road or for action to be taken about barking dogs).
Customer Complaints Form
If you remain unhappy about our decision or how we dealt with your issue, there are outside agencies who may be able to review your case. They can advise you whether you have grounds for a further complaint.
A list of organisations that can help you launch an external appeal are listed below.
While you are entitled to refer a complaint directly to these bodies at any time, you are encouraged to allow us to investigate the complaint first.
Director of Local Government
Local Government Association Tasmania
326 Macquarie Street
Mail: GPO Box 1521, Hobart 7001
Phone: (03) 6146 3740
Integrity Commission of Tasmania
Surrey House, Level 2
199 Macquarie Street
Mail: GPO Box 822, Hobart 7001
Phone: 1300 720 289
The Ombudsman is an officer responsible to Parliament for investigating complaints made about administrative actions (or inactions) of Tasmanian Government departments, most Statutory Authorities and Local Government.
Level 6, 86 Collins Street
Mail: GPO Box 960, Hobart 7001
Phone: 1800 001 170
Education and Care Unit for Child Care
Mail: GPO Box 169
Phone: 1300 135 513
Health Complaints Commissioner
Level 6, 86 Collins Street
Mail: GPO Box 960, Hobart 7001
Phone: 1800 001 170