Freedom of Information

Overview

Freedom of Information (FOI) legislation gives individuals and organisations a general right of access to documents held by Council.  It also provides rights of appeal if access to information through a FOI request is not granted.

Email your request to ngshire@ngshire.vic.gov.au or fill out an Application for Access to Documents form(PDF, 336KB) and return to: 

Freedom of Information Officer
Northern Grampians Shire Council
PO Box 580
STAWELL VIC 3380

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.

Payment of the application fee 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 search and 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.

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 for personal or business reasons.

Examples include:

  • law enforcement documents
  • confidential matters considered by Council
  • some internal working documents
  • documents covered by legal professional privilege such as legal advice
  • documents with personal information about other people
  • documents with Commercial-in-confidence information or trade secrets
  • information obtained in confidence.

Where a decision is made to refuse or defer access, you will be notified in writing of the reasons for denial/deferral.  If you are not satisfied with the reasons you can seek a review from the Victorian Information Commissioner.

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.

Before submitting your request, ring the FOI Officer on 03 5358 8700 to discuss what you are after, how you want it, fees and charges, timelines, consultation with third parties and exempt documents. Council makes a lot of documents available to the public already so before making a request for access, you should first view the list of documents that are available directly to the public(PDF, 130KB) and search our website.

For more information about FOI, see the Office of the Victorian Information Commissioner website.

Applicants are entitled to make a complaint to the Victorian Information Commissioner concerning an action is taken or failed to have been by this agency in making the decision to disclose the information.  The complaint must be made within 60 days after the action or conduct occurred.  For further information please go to https://foicommissioner.vic.gov.au/reviews-and-complaints/lodge-a-complaint/.

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.

Application fee $28.90 set July 1, 2018. 

Search and 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.