Freedom of Information / Privacy

What is the Information Act?

The Information Act gives people the right to access information from the public sector, including council’s, subject to a number of exemptions to protect public and private interests. Click here for more information from the Australian Government, Office of the Australian Information Commissioner

This does not include information that is already available under existing ‘access arrangements’, such as council minutes, which are available without applying under the Information Act.

How can the Information Act help?

The Information Act has three main aims, which fall into the following categories:

1. 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 from this website. You can also ask to see such documents or purchase copies at the Civic Centre.

2. Access

The Information Act also gives you the right to apply for documents, including those about you, held by Council via a Freedom of Information (FOI) Request. You can examine and have copies of these documents. You also have the right of appeal if Council does not give you access to documents you want to see.

3. Amendment

You can apply for information about your personal affairs to be changed if you believe it is inaccurate, incomplete, out-of-date or misleading.

Can I see all documents?

Some documents are exempt under the Act to protect essential public interest or the personal or business affairs 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 the decision. Council must also tell you of your rights of appeal.

Documents already publicly available (such as birth certificates, and including those available for free), under other legislation, or administrative processes, are not available through this Act.

How much will it cost?

There is no application fee to look at documents about your personal affairs. You can also ask for copies of these documents for 20 cents per A4 page.

However, there is an application fee of $30.00 for requests for access to non-personal affairs documents (i.e. complaints made by another person) and other charges for processing and making photocopies.

How do I make an FOI request?

The Information Act requires that your application be made in writing. Please make use of the Request for Katherine Town Council Information Form