Freedom of Information

Freedom of Information (FOI) legislation is associated with open government and the democratic process. 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 of appeal in relation to the previous two functions

  4. To require agencies to publish certain details about themselves and their functions

How to make an FOI request

Email your request to or fill out an Application for Access to Documents form(PDF, 335KB) and return to: 

Freedom of Information Officer
Northern Grampians Shire Council
PO Box 580

All requests for access to Council documents under the FOI Act must be in writing and provide such information as is reasonably necessary to enable the documents to be identified.

There is an application fee of $28.40 set July 1, 2017. Payment is accepted by cheque or by cash (only for requests made in person at one of Council’s Town Halls).  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. (eg Health Care or Pension Concession Card or other documentation)

Please note that your request may incur access charges in accordance with the Freedom of Information (Access Charges) Regulations 2014. You will be supplied with a statement of any applicable charges as your request progresses.

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

Search & retrieval of documents

 $21.30 per hour or part thereof rounded to the nearest 10 cents                                                

Photocopying of documents (B&W)

 20 cents per A4 page

Supervised inspection of documents

 $21.33 per hour to be calculated per 1/4 hour or part of a 1/4 hour, rounded to the nearest 10 cents

What documents are available?

You can ask for any documents held by the Council; however, not all documents will be able to be provided, some or parts thereof, may be exempt under the FOI Act.

 Exemptions include but are not exclusive to:

  • documents that affect the personal privacy of other people;
  • some internal working documents;
  • documents prepared for the purpose of seeking or receiving legal advice;
  • documents prepared solely for a closed council meeting;
  • documents relating to trade secrets;
  • documents which are already publicly available or available by paying a fee under another Act;
  • documents which were created before 1 January 1989.

Your application may be refused if is considered to be ‘voluminous in nature’, in that it would interfere unreasonably with the operations or performance of the Council.

Some documents may be exempted from access for personal or business affairs reasons.  Where a decision is made to refuse or defer access, the applicant will be notified in writing of the reasons for denial/deferral.  If the applicant is not satisfied with the reasons he/she can seek a review from the Victorian Information Commissioner.

For more information about FOI, see the Office of the Victorian Information Commissioner website, or telephone the FOI officer on (03) 5358 8700. Before submitting your request, ring the FOI Officer to discuss what you are after, how you want it, fees and charges, timelines, consultation with third parties and exempt documents. You should also view the list of documents that are available directly to the public.

Councils must prepare a Part II Statement under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 and ensure that it is published and made available to the public.  Click here to download Part 11 Statement - Publication of Certain Documents & Information(PDF, 489KB)