13 OCTOBER 2009: Independent accountability agencies in Queensland have joined forces to help the thousands of Queenslanders annually who seek free, impartial advice to resolve complaints about a range of issues.
The agencies have established a shared complaints website (www.complaints.qld.gov.au
) and an ‘It’s OK to complain’ brochure that has been translated into 15 languages.
Agencies involved in the initiative include:
- Anti-Discrimination Commission Queensland
- Commission for Children and Young People and Child Guardian
- Commonwealth Ombudsman
- Crime and Misconduct Commission
- Health Quality and Complaints Commission
- Queensland Ombudsman.
Anti-Discrimination Commission Queensland Commissioner Susan Booth said the joint initiatives aim to improve the community’s understanding of the roles of independent accountability agencies in Queensland.
“Many people, including those from multicultural backgrounds, are unsure of who to complain to if they or someone close to them has been unfairly treated,” she said.
“The shared website and multi-lingual brochure will improve their understanding of Queensland’s accountability agencies, and lead them to the relevant agency to address their complaint.”
Queensland Ombudsman David Bevan agrees.
“Improving people’s understanding of the types of complaints we can deal with improves our efficiency by reducing the number of complaints that we need to refer to other agencies,” he said.
Commissioner for Children and Young People and Child Guardian Elizabeth Fraser said that she was particularly keen for young people to be aware of the complaints service.
“People need to know they can complain if services provided to under-18s are inadequate. It is important for young people to feel comfortable about contacting our complaints team if they need assistance and be confident that they will be listened to.”
CEO of the Health Quality and Complaints Commission (HQCC) Cheryl Herbert said all complaints were important.
“If you’re like most people, you probably don’t like to complain. It’s even more difficult if you are upset, busy or think that it won’t make a difference,” she said.
“But it does make a difference. Complaints are a really important source of feedback and can help improve service standards and stop others going through what you did.
“The independence of these agencies should assure people their complaints will be heard and hopefully resolved without bias or fear of reprisal,” Mrs Herbert said.
To view the combined portal or the multi-lingual brochures, please visit www.complaints.qld.gov.au.