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Ratepayer complaints hit councils
Bin problems: Suburban councils get many calls over missed bin collections. Picture: Tony Holmes/The Kalgoorlie Miner

Suburban councils are receiving thousands of calls a month from ratepayers about problems ranging from barking dogs and graffiti to missed bin collections.

Data from 10 metropolitan councils shows that almost 1.5 million calls were received in the past year.

The City of Joondalup received more than half a million inquiries during the 2012-13 financial year. Of the 538,500 calls logged with the council, the top issues concerned rubbish bin repair or replacement, graffiti removal and wandering or lost dogs.

Perth's biggest council by population, City of Stirling, took 211,500 calls over the same period.

Stirling mayor Giovanni Italiano said phone calls were still residents' preferred method of contact but the City also received 500 emails a week and about 100 faxes.

"The very nature of local government is providing rubbish collections, development approvals, planning matters and community facilities and these equate to the lion share of inquiries," he said.

The City of Gosnells received more than 1200 emails a month and almost 20,000 calls about rates, 14,000 regarding planning issues and 10,500 relating to ranger inquiries.

Graffiti removal was a major issue in the City of Vincent and the City of Joondalup.

In Vincent, about 2500 calls were logged about graffiti with the council removing 8400sqm at a cost of $160,000.

The City of Cockburn fielded 100,900 calls last financial year or about 8400 a month.

Rates, junk collection and planning issues were the most common topics raised by Cockburn ratepayers.

The City of South Perth gets 46,100 calls a year, with the second most popular topic being information about Australia Day festivities.

South Perth mayor Sue Doherty said ratepayers could report and track individual requests or inquires online or via a mobile app.