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Freedom of Information

The Freedom of Information Act 1982 (the FOI Act) gives people the right to access documents held by Victorian government agencies.

The FOI Act has four main functions:
1. To provide a general right of access to documents;
2. To enable individuals to amend incorrect documents about them held by government;
3. To provide rights appeal in relation to the previous two functions;
4. To require agencies to publish certain details about themselves and their functions.

For more information on the FOI Act and procedures see www.foi.vic.gov.au

Documents Available Outside Freedom of Information

Many of Councils documents are available to the public via Council’s website. Before submitting an FOI Application it is recommended that you view our documents available for public inspection on our Publications, Policies and Strategies page of this website.

Some documents are available outside the FOI Act:

  • Documents which contain information that is open to public access, as part of a public register or otherwise, in accordance with another enactment, where that access is subject to a fee or other charge
  • Documents which contain information that is available for purchase by the public
  • Documents that are available for public inspection in the Public Record Office of Victoria
  • Documents which are sorted for preservation or safe custody in the Public Record Office Victoria

How to make a Freedom of Information Request

All requests for access to Council documents under the FOI Act must be in writing (please see Application Form below), accompanied by the application fee and provide such information as is reasonably necessary to enable the documents to be identified. Before making an FOI request it is recommended that you speak with Council’s Freedom of Information Officer, Megan Kruger on (03) 5573 0425.

Requests must be for specific documents or a defined group of documents. Your request must include key details, such as a date-range for the documents you seek access to. Your request will be interpreted literally, so avoid phrases such as “all documents relating to” because it may result in you being charged for, and receiving, documents which you were not after. If your request is not clear, clarification will be sought by Council.

Applications can be email to Council’s FOI Officer at foi@sthgrampians.vic.gov.au or mailed to Locked Bag 685, Hamilton VIC 3300.

Fees and Charges

There is an application fee of $28.40. In accordance with Section 17(2B) of the FOI Act, you may ask for the application fee to be reduced or waived. If you apply for the application to be reduced or waived please supply evidence that payment would cause you hardship (e.g. Health Care Card or Pensioner Concession Card or other documentation).

Search and access charges, allowable under the FOI Act and Regulations, are also applicable to each application.

Services Fees & Charges
Search Fees $21.30 per hour or part thereof
Photocopy Fees - A4 black & white 20 cents
Supervised inspection of documents $21.30 per hour to be calculated per 1/4 hour or par of a 1/4 hour, rounded to the nearest 10 cents
Other Charges - including transcription and colour copying Reasonable cost incurred by the agency

Exemptions

Not all documents requested will be able to be provided. Documents may be exempt under the FOI Act. Common exemptions are:

  • Internal working documents
  • Law enforcement documents
  • Documents attracting legal professional privilege, such as legal advice
  • Documents affecting personal privacy
  • Material obtained in confidence (but not business, commercial or financial information)
  • Documents relating to trade secrets (both of Council and external entities)

How to Request a Correction of Your Own Personal Information

All requests to correct you own personal information held by Council must be in writing and specify how the information is incorrect. No charges apply to request a correction of your own personal information.

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