Make a competitive neutrality complaint

A competitive neutrality complaint is a complaint about the alleged failure of a state or local government business to comply with the principle of competitive neutrality.

The competitive neutrality complaints process differs slightly depending on whether the complaint is against a state or local government business.

If you wish to make a competitive neutrality complaint, you will need to first identify whether the business you wish to complain about is a state or local government business. Then, read the relevant information and download the relevant complaints form below. Please contact us if you require assistance.

We encourage you to also read the information available on our website about competitive neutrality before you make a complaint.

Complaints process

First steps

If you are contemplating making a complaint against a state government business, the first step is to contact the relevant business to discuss your concerns and to make a genuine attempt to resolve the complaint with that government agency.

If you do make a formal competitive neutrality complaint, you will be required to provide information that shows that you have made a genuine attempt to resolve the complaint with the state government agency. We may refuse to investigate a competitive neutrality complaint if we believe that you have not made a genuine attempt to resolve the complaint with the agency.

Our investigation process

If your attempt to resolve the complaint directly with the government agency has not been successful, you may submit a competitive neutrality complaint to us. We are required to investigate all competitive neutrality complaints that we receive, unless:

  1. we believe the person making the complaint is not, and could not be, in competition in a particular market with the government agency
  2. we believe the person making the complaint has not made a genuine attempt to resolve the complaint with the government agency
  3. we formally requested more information from the person making the complaint (with a written notice under section 42 of the QCA Act), and the person has failed to provide this information without reasonable excuse
  4. we believe the complaint is frivolous or vexatious.

Our investigation will examine whether the government agency breached the principle of competitive neutrality.

The outcome of the investigation

We will investigate a complaint and provide a written report to the Treasurer about the investigation and the results of the investigation. This report provides advice and recommendations only, and the Treasurer is not required to accept the advice.

Once we receive the Treasurer’s response to the report, we will publish the report on our website. We may recommend that the publication of the report be delayed, and the reasons for this recommendation will be included in the report. If this recommendation is accepted by the  Treasurer, the report will be published at the end of the recommended delay period.

A competitive neutrality complaint against a state government business must contain certain information in order to be valid—these information requirements are set out in section 41 the QCA Act.

We have developed the complaints form below to assist people who wish to make a complaint in meeting these information requirements. Please complete every section of this form with as much information as possible. You can print, save or edit the information you enter into this form at any time before you submit the form to us—you do not need to complete the form in one sitting. Please contact us if you require assistance in completing this form.

A competitive neutrality complaint does not have to be made by using this form. However, a complaint must be made in writing. If you wish to submit a complaint not using this form, please ensure that you have met the information requirements contained in the QCA Act for making a competitive neutrality complaint.

You can submit your competitive neutrality complaint, including completed complaints forms and supporting documents, on our competitive neutrality complaints submission page.

Title Document
28 July 2021 Competitive Neutrality Complaints Form – State Government pdf, 342.49 Kb

Complaints process

First steps

If you are contemplating making a complaint, the first step is to contact the relevant local government business to discuss your concerns  and to make a genuine attempt to resolve the complaint with that business entity and the local government that owns or controls that business.

Legislation requires that a local government must have a process for resolving competitive neutrality complaints, including a process for resolving a dispute before a formal complaint is lodged. We strongly encourage you to contact your local council to engage in its complaints process and to attempt to resolve the issue before lodging a formal complaint with us.

If you do make a formal competitive neutrality complaint, you will be required to provide information that shows that you have first made a genuine attempt to resolve the issue with the local government. We may refuse to investigate a competitive neutrality complaint if we believe that you have not first made a genuine attempt to resolve the issue with the local government.

Our investigation process

If your attempt to resolve the issue directly with the local government has not been successful, you can submit a formal competitive neutrality complaint in writing to us, or directly to the local government. If a formal complaint is made directly to the local government, they will refer that complaint to us to investigate. We are required to investigate all competitive neutrality complaints that we receive, unless we consider that:

  1. the person making the complaint has not made a genuine attempt to resolve the issue with the local government
  2. the person making the complaint is not, or will not be, in competition with the relevant local government business activity
  3. the person making the complaint is not, or is unlikely to be, adversely affected, even if the business activity does not comply with the competitive neutrality principle
  4. the complaint is frivolous or vexatious.

Our investigation will examine whether the local government business activity breached the principle of competitive neutrality. We are required to consider the competitive neutrality criteria in our investigation—these criteria are set out in section 51 of the Local Government Regulation 2012 (Qld). If your complaint is against the Brisbane City Council, similar criteria set out in section 39 of the City of Brisbane Regulation 2012 (Qld) will apply instead.

The outcome of the investigation

We will investigate a complaint and provide a written report to the relevant local government and the business entity itself (if it is a separate legal entity to the local government). The report will state whether or not we consider the complaint to be substantiated. If we decide that the local government business entity has a competitive advantage (or disadvantage), the report will also include recommendations on addressing this advantage (or disadvantage).

This report provides advice and recommendations only, and the local government is not required to accept the advice. The local government must decide, by resolution, whether to implement the recommendations in our report, and the resolution must state the reasons for the local government’s decisions.

A copy of the report must be available for inspection by the public at the local government’s offices. There is no requirement for the report to be published on the local government’s website or our website.

A competitive neutrality complaint must contain certain information to be valid. These information requirements are set out in the Local Government Act 2009 (Qld) and Local Government Regulation 2012 (Qld)

If your complaint is against the Brisbane City Council, the City of Brisbane Act 2010 (Qld) and the City of Brisbane Regulation 2012 (Qld) will instead apply, with similar requirements as the Local Government Act.

The complaints form below can assist people who wish to make a complaint in meeting these information requirements. Please complete every section of this form with as much information as possible. You can print, save or edit the information you enter into this form at any time before you submit the form to us—you do not need to complete the form in one sitting. You are welcome to contact us if you require assistance in completing this form.

A competitive neutrality complaint does not have to be made by using this form. However, a complaint must be made in writing. If you wish to submit a complaint not using this form, you must meet the information requirements contained in the relevant legislation.

You can submit your competitive neutrality complaint, including completed complaints forms and supporting documents, on our competitive neutrality complaints submission page.

Title Document
22 June 2021 Other documents Competitive Neutrality Complaints Form – Local Government pdf, 329.68 Kb