Under the Freedom of Information Act 1982, you can access Council documents, unless exemptions apply.
- information obtained in confidence (such as the details of complaints about barking dogs)
- personal information where release would be unreasonable (including the details of an individual's health or financial position)
- commercially sensitive material
We will provide reasons if we refuse your request. We will also advise you of your appeal rights.
What you can access without an FOI request
Information that you might be able to obtain without a submitting a request includes:
- Your personal information, such as personnel records
- Information that is available publicly, such as information placed on a public register
- Information that is available to buy from Council
- A list of Council's Prescribed Documents can be found online
Please refer to Council’s Part II Statement for details about information that is publicly available.
At the time of submitting your request, you must pay an application fee of $29.60 (valid until June 2020).
The application fee is a fixed cost required under legislation. This enables us to assess your application and decide how we can proceed.
If you are suffering financial hardship, you can ask us to consider waiving the application fee. You will need to provide evidence of your situation when you ask us to waive the fee.
You must also pay for:
- Search time: $22.20 per hour (or part of an hour)
- Supervised viewing of documents: $5.60 per 15 minutes (if applicable)
- Photocopying: 20 cents per black and white A4 page
- Access other than photocopying will be charged depending on the reasonable cost incurred by the organisation in providing that access and supervision (if required).
If the estimated charges exceed $50.00, we will ask you if you want to continue with the request.
Paying the application fee
You can pay the application fee:
- by credit card over the phone
Valid and invalid requests
To enable Council to provide you with a decision, you must make a valid request.
A valid request must be:
- In writing, using our FOI application form.
- Accompanied by an application fee or a request for a fee waiver due to financial hardship.
- clear and specific enough so we can search our documents practically and thoroughly.
What to include in a valid request
We hold many documents over a long period. To help us meet your request, you should tell us:
- the type of documents you are looking for (such as emails)
- the topic of your request
- any specific words that relate to the topic
Invalid requests can include wording such as:
- 'The last few years'
- 'Recent documents'
- 'Any documents until now'
Or requests that do not specifically outline the topic of documents sought, such as:
- 'All documents relating to my property'
- 'Any complaints received by Council'
- 'All footpath records'
If you need help with writing your request, we can provide limited assistance.
Make an FOI request
To make an FOI request, please complete a Freedom of Information Application form.
Submit your completed form and payment via:
What happens next
We will review your application to make sure you have included everything we need. We will also check to see if you have provided enough information to allow us to fulfil your request. If not, we will write to you asking for more detail.
When we have processed your request, we will send you a letter outlining our decision.
We will either:
- release all the documents you requested
- release part of the documents you requested
- release none of the documents you requested
- advise you that we could not find any documents
We will finalise a valid request within 30 calendar days of receiving it.
If we need to consult with you or with other relevant parties, an extension may be granted.
We may also put your FOI request on hold if you have not paid the fees.
If you are not satisfied with our decision, you can seek a review from the Office of the Victorian Information Commissioner. You must do this within 28 days of receiving the decision.
Find out more about having your decision reviewed.