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Information Privacy

The Information Privacy Act 2009 deals with requests for personal information. It also provides protection of personal information collected and held by Council by providing rules for what Council must do with personal information.

Limitations on access

There may be access limitations to information held by Council, for example that involve operational and investigation documents. This does not mean that an application to access such information cannot be made. To obtain access to documents relating to a particular investigation, the documents must consist of information about the applicant and the investigation must be finalised. It is possible that parties not involved in an investigation may not be able to access investigation files. This is about making applicants aware that there are exemption provisions that may apply to applications for access to information held by Council.

Amending personal details in documents

Under the IP Act, you may apply to amend documents containing personal information where you believe that the information is inaccurate, misleading, out-of-date or incomplete.

Please contact Council's Administrative Review and Ethics Program on (07) 3412 3412.

How can the RTI and IP Acts help?

The RTI and IP Acts have three main aims, which fall into the following categories:

Availability

Council is required to make available to you documents about its functions and operations. This includes information about its structure, decision-making processes, public participation through boards, councils or committees, and policy documents. You can download some of these documents, such as the Publication Scheme and Staff Code of Conduct documents, for free. You can also ask to see such documents or purchase copies at Council's Administration Centre, noting that the Publication Scheme is not available in hard copy format.

Access

The RTI and IP Acts give you the right to apply for documents, including those about you that are held by Council. You can examine and have copies of these documents. You also have the right to review Council's decision if it will not grant you access to the documents.

Amendment

You may apply, under the IP Act to amend documents containing your personal information that Council holds, where you believe that the information is inaccurate, misleading, out-of-date or incomplete.

What is a 'document' under the RTI and IP Acts?

For the purposes of these Acts, the term 'document' includes emails, files (both electronic and hard copy), computer printouts, maps, plans, photographs, tape recordings, films or videotapes and other means of storing information, no matter how old or recent.

Can I see all documents?

Some documents are exempt under the Acts in order to protect the public interest or the personal or business information of others. Sometimes part of a document may not be available if it contains information which is exempt (e.g. name and address of complainant/s).

If you are refused access to a document or given partial access only, Council must give you written reasons for its decision. Council must also tell you about your rights to have the decision reviewed.

Documents already publicly available (such as birth certificates, and including those available for a fee), under other legislation, or administrative processes, may not be available through RTI or IP.

How much will it cost?

Please note that a merchant fee of 0.5% will need to be added to the below charges if you pay by credit card.

Application Type Act Application Fee Proof of Identity Required Processing Fees Timeframe for Decision
Personal Information Information Privacy Act Nil Yes Nil 25 business days
Non-Personal Information Right to Information Act $48.00 Nil If more than 5 hours spent processing application a charge of $7.45 for each 15 minutes spent 25 business days

How do I make an RTI or IP application?

Before making an application, contact the Administrative Review & Ethics Program on (07) 3412 3412 to discuss the information you wish to access. You can then make an informed decision. The ARE team can send you the application form as well helpful information on the legislative process.

What happens when access is granted?

Council will let you see the documents or more usually will send you copies of the documents.

Can other people apply for documents about me?

Yes, although documents containing your personal information will be exempt under both Acts. However, if the document is not exempt, Council will contact you if it believes the disclosure would be of concern to you.

If Council decides to release any information that you have asked the Council not to disclose and given your reasons, Council must provide you with its decision and advise your rights to have the decision reviewed.

What if I'm not satisfied?

If you are not satisfied with any decision about your application, you have the right to ask for a review.

For instance, you may have been refused access to a whole or part of a document or perhaps you are concerned that your personal or business information will be disclosed to someone else.

Options of applying

Internal review

A person in a more senior role to the original decision-maker will review your application and inform you of their decision within 20 business days, including reasons; or

External review

You can apply to the Information Commissioner for an external review of Council's decision. The Commissioner may change or confirm the decision made on your RTI or IP request.

Further information about RTI and IP

For detailed information on RTI or IP matters please contact the Administrative Review & Ethics Program on (07) 3412 3412.