Oh, Yes!! (This is not a sign of a positive emotion)
First of all, you are not allowed to have a conversation with your assigned assessing officer. In the last two years, I only managed to speak to the Council’s officer on a handful of occasions.
And this is not for the lack of trying. I estimate I made around 300 calls to the Council in this time. Often, it was important to talk to the Council in order to progress the reports the Council requires. The receptionist at the Planning and Development department will make sure you can not talk to the assessing officer. As a rule, you will be provided with one of hundred excuses from a readily available list. At best, she will talk to the assessing officer officer on your behalf. But NO, YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO TALK to the assessing officer directly!
So the only possible way to communicate with the Council is via email. And when do you think the Council will respond to your email? I can count on one hand when the answer came the same day. Typically, it takes at least a week before the Council comes back. Occasionally, it make take 2 weeks or more for the Council to respond. At least, you would think the Council will acknowledge the receipt of the email and give estimated time when the response will be available. No, I can’t remember a single occasion when the Council would give me a dignity of such a courtesy.
May be it would help if the Council kept an updated status and the progress report online, but the online DA tracking system is updated at best once a year: