The CBF’s grant processes are based on peer group assessment of grant applications by volunteers with relevant community broadcasting experience (Grant Assessor Team) and members of CBF Grants Advisory Committees who provide recommendations on funding allocations and policy development to the CBF Board. CBF volunteers are appointed by the CBF Board through a public nomination process.

The CBF operates with limited funds sourced mainly from the Australian Government. Funding is allocated within funding parameters and conditions established by its funding providers and according to the priorities and processes published in the CBF’s grant guidelines.

Scope of Policy

The CBF’s complaints process is not an appeals process against funding decisions that have been arrived at through proper process. A grant decision will only be reviewed through this Complaints Policy if it is determined that proper process has not been followed.

If you wish to provide feedback to the CBF rather than make a complaint, please contact us.

If you wish make a whistleblower disclosure, please refer to our Whistleblower Policy.

If you wish to advise us of an alleged fraud, please refer to our Fraud Control Plan.

1. What does this complaints policy cover?

Complaints to the CBF can be made in relation to:

  • the level, quality or timeliness of the services provided by the CBF
  • adherence to proper process in the CBF grant assessment process and the nomination and appointment process for CBF volunteers
  • compliance with the provisions of relevant CBF grant guidelines or the terms of a CBF Grant Agreement.

We are not able to assist you with complaints relating to disputes or issues at your organisation. For dispute resolution advice and pro bono mediation services, please contact the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia (CBAA).

We are not able to assist you with complaints relating to content you have heard or seen on your local community radio or TV broadcaster. Complaints about content should be made to the broadcaster first. If your complaint is not resolved satisfactorily, you can lodge a complaint to the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).

2. How can I make a complaint?

a. Informal verbal complaints
Many complaints can be resolved informally and efficiently via personal contact. The CBF asks that you first make a verbal complaint by raising the issue with the appropriate CBF Support Team member. This is particularly important where your complaint relates to the level or quality of service provided by a particular staff member. It makes them aware of the issue and allows them to address it.

Contact details for all CBF Support Team members are available on our website. If you believe that the person that you initially dealt with is unable to assist you, please contact the CBF’s Chief Executive Officer on

The CBF Support Team expect to be treated with respect and dignity. And in turn, people interacting with the CBF will be offered the same. If staff and volunteers are subjected to abusive or aggressive behaviour over the telephone, the caller will be informed of our Dealing with Difficult or Abusive Interactions Policy and the call may be terminated.

b. Formal written complaints
If you are not satisfied with the response provided to your verbal complaint, you may wish to lodge a formal written complaint.

3. Making a formal complaint

a. Formal complaints

Formal complaints must:

  • be made in writing and lodged with the CBF either via mail or e-mail
  • be from an identified individual or organisation – the CBF does not act on anonymous complaints
  • provide specific details about the nature of your complaint
  • provide mail, telephone and (where available) e-mail contact details.

Identify whether there are any aspects of the complaint that you wish to be treated as confidential. If confidentiality is requested with regard to the matter as a whole, please ensure that mailed complaints are marked clearly on the envelope as ‘Confidential’. Emailed complaints should include the words ‘CONFIDENTIAL COMPLAINT’ in the email subject line.

Please note that with respect to formal complaints, confidentiality cannot be accorded in any manner that:

  • restricts the ability of the CBF’s Chief Executive Officer or President to report to the CBF Board
  • restricts the CBF to fulfil its obligations to the Australian Government, regulatory bodies such as the Australian Charity and Not-For-Profit Commission (ACNC)
  • prevents the CBF from meeting its obligations under law.

Formal complaints by mail should be sent to: the CEO via

If the complaint is in relations to the CEO, then it can be sent directly to the President via

b. How will I know that my complaint has been received?
All formal complaints will be acknowledged by mail, telephone or email within one week of receipt.

c. How will my complaint be dealt with?
A written response to your formal complaint will be provided by mail or email within one month of receipt. In the event that this timeframe cannot be complied with, the reasons for the delay and an expected response time will be communicated in writing.

In some cases, further information may be requested from you or a meeting or teleconference arranged to discuss your complaint, prior to a written response being provided.

Approved by the CBF Board on 20 May 2016, reviewed February 2022. Download a copy of our Complaints Policy (PDF, 372KB). Please contact us if you require a Microsoft Word version of this document.