Make a serious breach complaint

Important information before lodging your complaint of a serious breach.

Serious breaches of the Local Government Act 1995 (the Act) are investigated by officers of the department. 

A serious breach is an offence committed by a council member against a written law when the person is acting in their capacity as a council member. The majority of the offences of this nature are within the Act, which include:

  • failure to declare an interest (section 5.65)
  • failure to submit an annual return (section 5.76)
  • failure to declare a gift (section 5.87A)
  • failure to vote (section 5.21)
  • breach of complaint confidentiality (section 5.123).

A complaint of serious breach of the Act must normally be made within two years of the alleged breach taking place. A complaint cannot be made after that time has elapsed.

There are some exemptions to these provisions concerning financial matters which have no time limit and a complaint can be made at any time.

Any person can make a complaint of a serious breach which can be lodged with the department direct by completing the approved form and sending it with any relevant evidence to support the allegation/s to

Completing your complaint

Things to remember when completing your form:

  • Your complaint must be lodged on a form approved by the Minister (link below).
  • This form is to be used for serious breach complaints only.
  • Your complaint form must contain all required information (including the name of the council member. A failure to complete the required information may render your complaint non-compliant.
  • Any supporting evidence provided should be relevant. Do not send material that does not support your complaint.
  • Your complaint can be lodged directly with the department by emailing it to
  • Once your complaint has been lodged, confidentiality applies. Under section 5.123 of the Act, it is an offence to disclose information that the complaint has been made or any information about any details of the complaint until the matter has been dealt with and an order has been made by the State Administrative Tribunal under section 5.117(1) of the Act.
  • When your complaint has been received by the department you will receive an automated notification via your email.
  • You will be contacted within 14 days by an officer from the department who will provide you an acknowledgement that the complaint is in accordance with the Act (or otherwise) and the director general will decide whether to make an allegation to the State Administration Tribunal.


Page reviewed 09 February 2024