Under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Vic) (FOI Act), every person has the right to request access to documents held by Victorian public sector agencies and Ministers. This right of access is subject to exceptions and exemptions necessary to protect essential public and private interests.
Making a valid request
Under section 17 of the FOI Act, a request must meet three requirements to be valid:
- your request must be in writing;
- you must provide sufficient information about the documents you are requesting to enable us to identify and locate relevant documents; and
- you must pay the application fee, or if payment of the application fee would cause you hardship you can request us to waive the fee in full or in part.
For more information on how to make a valid freedom of information (FOI) request, visit the Office of the Victorian Information Commissioner’s (OVIC) website www.ovic.vic.gov.au.
After you submit a request
After you submit a request, we will assess it to ensure it meets the requirements outlined in section 17 of the FOI Act. If we determine that your request is not valid, we will notify you within 21 days from the date we received your request and provide you with assistance to help you make the request valid. If your request is valid, we will begin processing it.
We have 30 days from the date you make a valid request to provide you with a decision. However, we can extend this time by up to 15 days if we need to consult with third parties whose information may be contained in the requested documents. We may also extend this time by up to 30 days with your agreement. We will let you know if the timeframe changes.
We may notify and consult with third parties in considering whether an exemption under sections 29, 31, 31A, 33, 34 or 35 of the FOI Act applies. Some examples of documents affected include:
- Documents affecting personal privacy (such as names, addresses, phone numbers) - section 33(1)
- Documents relating to trade secrets (putting a commercial business at an unreasonable disadvantage) - section 34(1)
- Documents affecting legal proceedings (legal advice or opinions) - section 32(1)
- Documents prepared for and used at a meeting closed to the public (such as minutes, reports) - section 38A
This consultation may involve disclosing details such as the terms of your request and the documents falling within the scope of your request that concern the relevant third parties.
If necessary, we may transfer your request under section 18 of the FOI Act to another agency or Minister who is better placed to handle your request. We will tell you if we do this.
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 Freedom of Information Commissioner.
Office of the Freedom of Information Commissioner
PO Box 24274
Melbourne Victoria 3001
We may require you to pay certain charges before access is provided to the requested document(s). For example, we may charge for providing copies of the document(s) or supervising an inspection of the document(s). If these charges exceed $50.00, we will notify you and request that you pay a deposit before proceeding with your request.
Collection, use and disclosure of your personal information
Corangamite Shire is committed to providing you with the highest levels of service. This includes protecting your privacy. When your personal information is collected for the purpose of processing your request, Council undertakes to ensure full compliance with its obligations under the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014.