Right to Information
Information disclosure under the Right to Information Act 2009
What is the Right to Information?
The Right to Information Act 2009 came into effect on 1 July 2010. The Act allows for greater access to information held by government bodies, including:
- authorising and encouraging routine disclosures of information held by public authorities in response to informal requests without applications;
- giving members of the public an enforceable right to information held by public authorities; and
- ensuring that access to information held by government bodies is restricted only in limited circumstances, as defined in the Act.
Flinders Council is a public authority.
How do I get access to information?
Under the Right to Information Act 2009 Flinders Council is required to make information available to the public. Council routinely makes available information that will assist the public in understanding what it does and how it does it. This may be done via the Council website, by publishing fact sheets or discussion papers, or through the Annual Plan, Annual Report and other reporting systems. Some information is not released this way, either because it is not thought to be of public interest or because it first needs to be assessed against the exemptions in the Right to Information Act 2009.
If you cannot find the information you are looking for from one of the sources below, Council may be able to provide it to you or to assist you with your search. If the information is not freely available, we will assist you in making an application for an Assessed Disclosure.
Through the Service Tasmania Network
- Search the Service Tasmania website – www.service.tas.gov.au
- Visit a Service Tasmania Office
- Phone Service Tasmania on 1300 13 55 13
- Contact Service Tasmania via their online form www.service.tas.gov.au/contact/ask/
- Search for the information on Tasmania Online (it may be available from another source) – www.tas.gov.au
The Tasmanian Archives and Heritage Office (TAHO)
- If the information is old it may be held with the Tasmanian Archives and Heritage Office.
- Search the TAHO website - www.archives.tas.gov.au/database
- Call TAHO on 03 6233 7488
- Email TAHO on email@example.com
Direct from Council:
- Search the Council website
- Search our Annual Plans and Reports
- Search our publications
- Phone Flinders Council
- Email Council - firstname.lastname@example.org
Applications for Assessed Disclosure
- Address applications to:
Right to Information Officer
4 Davies Street
WHITEMARK TAS 7255
Your application must be accommpanied by the application fee. Council will issue an invoice for the fee amount upon request.
You may apply for a fee waiver if:
- impecunious applicant (you can provide evidence of financial hardship);
- you are a member of parliament and the application is in connection with official duties;
- you are able to provide evidence showing that the information sought is intended to be used for a purpose that is of general public interest or benefit; or
- you are a journalist acting in connection with professional duties.
Please note: search thoroughly for the information before you make a formal application. If the information is found to be freely available, the Application for Assessed Disclosure may be refused and the application fee will not be returned.
What will we do once we have your application?
We will check the application to see that the correct information has been provided along with the application fee (which might be waived in certain cases). If Council believes another public authority is better placed to provide you with the information, your application may be transferred. Before your application is accepted, Council might contact you to ask some questions to assist in processing your request.
A Council Officer will assess your application against the Right to Information Act 2009. You will be notified in writing of the outcome of your request within 20 working days from the application being accepted. If your request is complex, or is seeking a large amount of information, Council may request more time for processing. If third parties need to be consulted about business affairs or for personal information, more time for processing is automatically granted. In this situation, Council will inform you that it requires more time and notify you of the outcome of your request as soon as practicable, but no later than 40 working days.
Right to Information Manual and Guidelines
- The Manual and Guidelines provides more detail on making requests under the Right to Information Act 2009 and how these are processed by different agencies.
- The Manual and Guidelines are available from the Office of the Ombudsman’s website
Related Acts and Regulations
- View, download and print from the Tasmanian Legislation Online:
- Right to Information Act 2009
- Right to Information Regulations 2021