Freedom of Information
In the first instance, members of the public are encouraged to contact Moyne Shire Council before submitting a Freedom of Information application. It may be possible, the information or the document they are seeking is available without requiring a formal request. Please see Plans, documents, policies and reports
If you wish to obtain a copy or inspect material, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, please refer to Contact Us for office locations. Attendance is dependent on Covid 19 restrictions.
What is Freedom of Information?
The Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI), gives people the right to access information in documentary form about the operations of government agencies.
The FOI Act gives any person the right to:
- access copies of documents (except exempt documents) we hold, and
- ask for information we hold about you to be amended if it is incomplete, out of date, incorrect or misleading.
What documents are available?
You can ask for any documents held by the Moyne Shire Council. 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.
There are times documents requested may be available outside the Act. Where a document in the possession of Council can be provided outside the Act, we will:
a) facilitate access to the document; or
b) advise you how the document can be accessed
Your application may be refused if is considered to be ‘voluminous in nature’, in that it would substantially and unreasonably interfere with the operations or performance of the Council.
How to make an FOI request.
You can make a request yourself, or you can authorise another person, such as a solicitor, to submit the request on your behalf.
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 try to avoid phrases like 'all documents in relation to' because it may result in you being charged for, and receiving, documents which you do not want.
Applications for access to documents must:
- be in writing;
- accompanied by an application fee (unless waived or reduced because of hardship); and
- sufficiently clear to enable Council staff to conduct a thorough and constructive search for the documents sought.
Make a Freedom of Information request application here
All applications should be addressed to:
Freedom of Information Officer
Alicia Cohen – Governance Coordinator
Moyne Shire Council
PO Box 51
Port Fairy, VIC, 3284.
For further access arrangements information refer to the Office of Victorian Information Commissioners (OVIC) website
How much will it cost?
The current application fee is $31.80 this fee changes each new financial year.
Other fees and charges which may be incurred in accordance with the Freedom of Information Regulations 2014:
$23.85 per hour or part thereof
Photocopy – A4 black and white
Supervised inspection of documents
$23.85 per hour to be calculated per ¼ hour or part of a ¼ hour, rounded to the nearest 10 cents
Other charges – including transcription and colour copying
Reasonable costs incurred by the agency
Raising an invoice for electronic payment methods – Please contact council’s FOI officer email@example.com for electronic payment. An invoice will be submitted to you for electronic payment.
If the access charges are anticipated to exceed $50, we will write to you and confirm whether you wish to proceed with the request. There are instances where we will seek a deposit towards the charges. We will also suggest practical alternatives you could adopt in an effort to reduce the anticipated charges.
How long will it take?
Council has 30 days from the date a valid request is received to process the request. An extension of 15 additional days can be applied if consultation is required. If a deposit has been sought for access charges, the 30 day timeframe does not commence until payment of the deposit has been received.
Freedom of Information Part II Statement
Right of appeal
If you are dissatisfied with the Freedom of Information Officer’s decision to refuse access, to a document, defer access to a document; not waive or reduce an application fee (whether or not it has been paid) or not amend a document (in accordance with section 39) the applicant may appeal the decision to the Office of the Victorian Information Commissioner (OVIC) for review:
Office of Victorian Information Commissioner (OVIC)
PO Box 24274
Melbourne Vic 3001
Tel: 1300 842 364