Right to information and privacy

1. Overview

The Right to Information Act 2009 and the Information Privacy Act 2009:

  • make more information held by the Government available
  • provide equal access to it across all sectors of the community
  • provide appropriate protection for an individual’s privacy.

Where information is not already available you can access information through Right to Information or Information Privacy application process.

2. Your right to information

Moreton Bay Regional Council is making it easier for you to access information about Council. This information includes our polices, financial reports, public registers and documents relating to our decisions. We also make appropriate protections for certain information, including personal information.

What is Right to Information?

The Right to Information Act 2009 (RTI Act) gives you the right to access information contained in documents held by Council. The RTI Act promotes the release of information by Council unless this information is exempt, or its release would be contrary to the public interest.

What is Information Privacy?

The Information Privacy Act 2009 (IP Act) governs how Council manages your personal information and how you can access and amend your personal information held by Council.

How to access Council information?

You can check to see if the information you are looking for is already available.

  • You may search for information published on Council’s Publication Scheme and on Council’s website.
  • You may perform property searches.
  • If you are party to civil legal proceedings and the information is relevant to an issue in the proceedings, you may request information under section 134A of the Evidence Act 1977.

If the information you are seeking is not available via one of these avenues, you may request access to the information under the RTI Act or IP Act.

3. Applications under the RTI Act and IP Act

Application under the Right to Information Act 2009 (RTI Act)

You are required to:

  • complete the application form
  • pay the application fee set by the RTI Act (currently 46625);
  • provide certified identification if any of the information you are seeking contains your personal information
  • provide sufficient detail in your application to enable identification of the information to which you seek access.

If you require assistance, you are encouraged to contact Council and speak to the RTI and IP unit. 

Applications can be lodged:

Under the RTI Act, Council has up to 25 business days to process an application. However, this period may be extended in certain circumstances as provided for by the RTI Act. Council may also request an extension of time due to the complexity and scale of your application.

Costs involved

An application fee of 46625 is payable and you may also need to pay processing charges and access charges.

A processing charge is a cost based on the time it takes Council to process your application. Processing charges are payable if it takes Council more than five hours to process your application. In this event, a charge estimate notice will be provided to you, which will:

  • inform you of the estimated amount of the processing charge; and
  • include a schedule of documents that will detail the documents that Council expects to locate for your application.

The charges estimate notice will give you the opportunity to:

  • agree to the charges and continue with your application;
  • amend your application to exclude certain information contained in the schedule of documents to reduce the charge;
  • withdraw your application; or
  • elect to review the decision to impose a processing charge (the amount of the charge is not reviewable).

Please note that:

  • additional access charges will apply if you request a photocopy of the documents released to you. No access charges apply if you request for the documents to be released to you via email or on CD or DVD; and
  • if you have a healthcare card issued under the Social Security Act 1991 (SS Act) or concession card issued under the SS Act or the Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986 (Cth), a written application can be made to have the processing and/or access charges waived.

Processing and access charges are set by the State Government. The processing charge is 46629 per 15 minutes spent processing your application if longer than 5 hours to process. Access charges relating to the photocopying of documents is 46669 per page. 

Application under the Information Privacy Act 2009 (IP Act)

To make an access or amendment application under the IP Act, you are required to:

  • complete the access application form or the amendment application form 
  • provide certified identification
  • provide sufficient detail in your application to enable identification of the information to which you seek access or which you seek to amend.

If you require assistance, you are encouraged to contact council and speak to the RTI and IP unit. 

Applications can be lodged:

Under the IP Act, Council has up to 25 business days to process an application. However, this period may be extended in certain circumstances as provided for by the RTI Act. Council may also request an extension of time due to the complexity and scale of your application.

Costs involved

There are no processing charges payable for an application made under the IP Act. Access charges will apply if you request a photocopy of the documents released to you. No access charges apply if you request for the documents to be released to you via email or on CD or DVD.

Access charges are set by the State Government. Access charges relating to the photocopying of documents is 46669 per page.

4. Will I receive what I apply for?

The documents located by Council in response to your application need to be assessed against the RTI Act or IP Act to determine whether they can be released to you. Some information in the documents located may contain information which cannot be released because:

  • the information is exempt information (for example, legal advice); or
  • on balance, it would be contrary to the public interest to release the information (for example, information that contains personal information or commercially sensitive information).

If there is some information in a document that cannot be released, this information may be removed electronically from the version provided to you. You will be advised of the reasons why the information has been removed.

5. Information Privacy

Moreton Bay Regional Council is committed to protecting user privacy and personal information in accordance with the Information Privacy Act 2009 (IP Act).

The IP Act outlines Council's obligations surrounding the collection, use, storage and disclosure of personal information collected by Council.

Personal information held by Council must be responsibly and transparently collected and managed in accordance with the Information Privacy Principles in the IP Act. This includes the transfer of personal information held by Council to other agencies, other levels of government and to the community and private sectors.

Information Privacy Plan

Council's Information Privacy Plan(PDF, 111KB) guides how your personal information is managed by Council in accordance with the IP Act. The Information Privacy Principles are set out in Appendix A of the Information Privacy Plan.

If you believe that Council has not dealt with your personal information in accordance with the Information Privacy Principles, you can lodge a complaint with Council in on the following ways:

6. Online privacy and security

Moreton Bay Regional Council is committed to providing web users with convenient and secure online services and protecting the privacy of our visitors. Refer to Online privacy and security.