Coronavirus update 13 March 2020

Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance and support.

Council’s investment in the Boroondara Customer First Program will provide the kinds of seamless and convenient experiences that you expect.

Read these examples of the ways residents will have an improved experience because of the Program.

Michael, 68 – lives in Hawthorn


I don’t understand why I need to keep telling Council my address has changed. I let the Rates Department know, but then they sent my pet registration to the old address.

Michael is a long-term Boroondara resident who recently decided to downsize and moved to an apartment in Hawthorn with his two cats, Buddy and Velma.

Michael calls Council to let the Rates Department know his new address. The Customer Service Officer suggests he complete a 'Change of Details' form online, which he does. A few months later, he is frustrated to find out his pet registration renewal form has been sent to his previous address.

Michael calls the Council again and is advised to submit another form to change the address for his pet registration. He doesn’t understand why he has to complete multiple forms for a straightforward change. 


I called the Council Rates Department to tell them my new address, and asked if I’d need to let other Council departments know. They said my address can be updated across all Council departments, with one form that I can complete online.

Michael calls the Council to let the Rates Department know about his change of address. The Rates Department makes the required change and lets Michael know his address has now been updated across all Council systems. They also let Michael know that another option for changing address details is to complete a 'Change of Details' form online. The form includes options for updating details across all Council departments.

Over the coming months, Michael automatically receives correspondence from various areas of Council, all sent to his new address.


Lynette, 52 – owns a cafe in Camberwell


As a business owner, it's essential to keep track of everything, but sometimes things get overlooked. So it was frustrating to get an arrears notice when my business registration renewal was a just few days late.

Lynette owns and manages a cafe in Camberwell. She loves her work and the great sense of community among her staff and regulars.

Staying on top of all of the local, state and federal government regulations can be a challenge, but Lynette reads all the correspondence she receives and has a great bookkeeper to help her keep track of things.

A few days after the due date for her business registration renewal, she receives an arrears notice from the City of Boroondara.

Lynette contacts the Council to ask if they can send reminders to avoid this happening in future. The Customer Service Officer advises her there are no reminder systems in place. 


As a business owner, it's essential to keep track of everything, but sometimes things get overlooked. So I was grateful to get an SMS reminder from Council a few days before my business registration was due for renewal.

Lynette has signed up to receive ‘Boroondara For Business’ reminders and the City of Boroondara sends an SMS to Lynette seven days before her business registration is due as a reminder. She adds this to her ‘To Do’ list, jumps online the following day, pays the registration fee and downloads a digital invoice.


Brendan, 42 – lives in Balwyn


The Council? I only ever talk to them about the mundane stuff, like building permits. Or when something goes wrong.

Brendan is frustrated with the City of Boroondara. He’s called them multiple times to check on the progress of a building permit. He applied for the permit on the Council’s website and doesn’t understand why he can’t check its progress online.

Brendan wishes Council would make it easier for him to manage these things without him having to make so many phone calls.


The Council? I don’t really deal with them directly; I just use the online portal to track progress of any permit applications I have made.

Brendan doesn’t have much interaction with the City of Boroondara. Over the past couple of months, he’s visited the Council’s website once to apply for a building permit, and then logged in to the online portal a few times to check on the progress of his application.

Brendan likes that he’s able to check on his building permit application online, without having to call Council, and knows he’ll get an SMS notification once the permit application is issued.


Agatha, 27 – works in Customer Service at the City of Boroondara


Many callers tell me that I'm the third or fourth person they’ve spoken to in a single call. It's frustrating for them to be transferred around, and it’s frustrating for me because I can't access all the systems and information I need to help them with their questions.

Agatha is a Customer Service Officer at the City of Boroondara. She has access to systems and information related to Planning. Because Council’s systems aren't integrated, she isn't able to see any records that relate to non-planning matters.

If the caller has a question unrelated to planning, Agatha has to transfer them to another area. It's a frustrating experience for her and the caller, especially if they’ve already been transferred to her area from another department.


When I’m speaking with a local resident or business owner, I can see their entire contact history in one place and search for information relevant to them across a range of Council services. This means I don't need to transfer them to another department for more information, and I can help to resolve their question there and then.

When speaking on the phone with community members, Agatha has access to an integrated system that allows her to view the customers complete contact history, across all Council departments. This means she doesn't need to transfer them if they have more than one question. 

Agatha can also add notes to their file to ensure their profile is always up to date. This means that if the caller wants information about a previous call they’ve made to Council, the information is accessible after a simple identity check. The new integrated systems make things easy and efficient for Agatha and for the person calling.

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