Your Right to Information
Douglas Shire Council is committed to providing open and transparent access to information about our services, activities, business operations and decisions. The legislation that governs this is:
- The Right to Information Act 2009 (RTI). The RTI Act provides for the community to access information held by Council, unless contrary to public interest.
- The Information Privacy Act 2009 (IP Act). The IP Act governs how Council manages your personal information and provides a guide on how you can access this information and advise Council of any changes to it.
Application forms related to Council’s RTI and IP processes are:
- Right To Information Application Form (PDF)
- Right to Information Application Form (Online)
- Information Privacy Personal Information Amendment Application Form
How Do I Access Information?
Council’s Administrative Access allows for easy access to information both via our web content or through customer enquiry.
Administrative Access is also used for those seeking access to their own personal information. There is no application fee for information requested under Administrative Access.
Council’s website also provides access to many publications and documents, many of which are available through our Publication Scheme.
You can check to see if the information you are seeking is already available by:
- Searching our website. Use the search function located at the top right hand corner.
- Contact us by phone, email, Facebook or at a customer service counter.
- Contact Councils Governance staff, by phone (07) 4099 9444 or 1800 026 318 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- View Council’s Disclosure Log published on this website. In the disclosure log, you will find details of non-personal information released in response to applications made under the RTI.
- View our documents published in our Publication Scheme.
Other ways to access information include:
- Submitting a Right To Information access application.
- If you are a party in civil legal proceedings, you can apply to inspect or obtain copies of documents under Section 134A of the Evidence Act 1977. Please note that any documents supplied under this legislation will be released on the condition that it is only used for the purpose of the legal proceedings named in your application.
What is a Right to Information application?
If you have been unable to obtain access to information through administrative access, you may wish to make an application under the Right to Information Act. You can submit an RTI application by completing the application form.
If the information you have requested is not related to your personal information, you must pay an application fee.
The RTI access application fee of $51.70 must be paid before your application can be processed. You may also be charged for processing the application and for making copies of documents. The processing charge of $8.00 for each 15 minutes, or part thereof, spent dealing with the application will only be applied if the total time taken to process the application is more than five (5) hours.
Following assessment of the RTI request, applicants will be advised of any additional process fees that may apply.
Applications must provide sufficient detailed information to enable identification of the information requested.
Once the application is received, you will be given a written notice outlining:
- An estimate of the amount/basis of any further access charges
- The date the decision was made
- The name and designation of the Council officer making the decision
- A schedule of the relevant documents
- Any right of review under the Act
Please note that if the documents requested contain information which may reasonably be expected to be of concern to a government agency, or relevant third party than the documents may not be released until consultation with the third party occurs.
Our Publication Scheme describes and categorises information routinely available from the Council. Information in the Publication Scheme is provided free of charge and Council welcomes any comments or feedback from the general public in relation to our Publication Scheme.
These comments may be lodged via a mail request or email to email@example.com.
Our Publication Scheme includes:
- About Us (Who we are and what we do)
- Our Services (The services we offer)
- Our Finances (What we spend and how we spend it)
- Our Priorities (What our priorities are and how we are doing)
- Our Decisions (How we make decisions)
- Our Policies (Our procedures and policies)
- Our Lists (Our lists and registers)
Council’s publications are predominately posted on the website in a PDF format or as html.
If you require information in alternative formats please contact the Governance staff, by phone (07) 4099 9444 or 1800 026 318 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is Information Privacy?
The Information Privacy Act sets out the way in which a government agency must manage an individual’s personal information.
Council collects personal information in the general course of doing business. You can view or request copies of your personal information, and you can also request to amend your own personal information if it is incorrect or out of date.
In order to access your personal information stored by Council please contact the Governance staff, by phone (07) 4099 9444 or 1800 026 318 or email email@example.com.
An Information Amendment Form is also available if you wish to change your personal information.
Council is committed to the government’s Information Privacy Principles.
Any personal information collected by Council will be used for the purpose of Council and its contractors providing services to you solely.
Examples of personal information collected by Council includes the names and addresses of ratepayers e.g. to provide planning, valuation and property services.
In some instances such as child care, dates of birth may be recorded, or your pet details may be captured for pet registrations.
When collecting your personal information Council will let you know why and for what purpose we collect this information.
We will take all reasonable steps to ensure that the information we collect is securely stored, and we will also not pass on your personal information to any other entities without your consent, or unless it is required by law or for public interest.
You may also wish to view our Privacy Statement for this website for further information.
What if I am not satisfied with the outcome of my application?
If you are not satisfied with the decision regarding your Right To Information application you can ask for a review, including:
- An Internal Review, where a more senior person to the original decision maker will review your application and inform you of their decision, including the reasons why the original decision was confirmed, modified, or overturned.
- An External Review, which can be addressed to the Information Commissioner. The Commissioner may change or confirm the original decision made on your RTI or PI application request or may mediate a solution between yourself and Council.
For more information on your rights to information see the following links: