Freedom of Information
The Victorian Freedom of Information (FOI) Act gives you rights to access documents held by Council, with some exemptions. Documents you can request under FOI include:
- any document about your personal affairs
- any other document that is no older than January 1, 1989
FOI will not be used to process requests for documents that have been released publicly by Council.
You can make a request, or with written authority enable another person to make a request on your behalf (for example your solicitor). For your application to be valid it must:
- be in writing
- clearly describe the documents you are requesting.
- include $29.60 application fee or evidence you qualify to have the fee waived or reduced.
Please note: additional access charges may be applied to the release of any documents.
Council will conduct a thorough and diligent search for the documents, assess them for any applicable exemptions, and conduct mandatory consultations and notifications of affected third parties.
The Freedom of Information Act allows us to refuse access to certain documents or parts of documents. These are referred to as exemptions, and include:
- law enforcement information
- information protected by legal professional privilege, such as legal advice
- information about the personal affairs of another individual
- confidential commercial information (of businesses or Council)
- information provided in confidence
- documents which are covered by secrecy provisions in other legislation
Your application may also be refused if it is considered 'voluminous in nature', meaning if we were to respond to the request it would interfere unreasonably with our operations or performance.
The application fee of $29.60 is fixed and non-refundable. The only exception is for people suffering hardship. (Fee set 1 July 2019).
If you would like us to consider reducing or waiving the fee, include evidence the fee would cause you financial hardship.
Access charges relate to the costs incurred in granting access to the documents you have requested. An indication of the costs you may incur are outlined below:
search charges -$22.20 per hour or part of an hour
supervision or inspection charges -$22.20 per hour to be calculated per quarter hour or part of a quarter hour
photocopying charges $0.20 per black and white A4 page (other charges apply for documents larger than A4 or reproduced in colour)
providing access in a form other than photocopying - the reasonable costs incurred by us in providing the copy
charge for listening or viewing a tape - the reasonable costs incurred by us in making arrangements to listen or to view (supervision charges also apply)
charge for making a written transcript out of a tape -the reasonable costs incurred by us in providing a written transcript.
All fees and charges are exempt from GST.
If you would like more information please contact the Governance Unit on 5355 0261 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.