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Freedom of Information
Freedom of Information
The Victorian Freedom of Information Act gives you the right to request documents held by Council and created after 1 January 1999. The legislation also gives you the right to access documents about your personal affairs, the activities of government agencies and to request that incorrect or misleading information about you be amended or removed.
If you are making a Freedom of Information (FOI) request, please fill out the form attached and return to Council along with the prescribed fee. All fees are determined by the Freedom of Information (Access Charges) Regulation 1993 (see the link below for further details).
Council must respond to FOI requests within 45 days. However, not all information is automatically available. The Freedom of Information Act allows an agency to refuse access to certain documents. These documents are often called ‘exempt’ documents.
Examples of exempt documents are:
- Law enforcement documents;
- Confidential matters considered by Council;
- Some internal working documents;
- Documents covered by legal professional privilege such as legal advice;
- Documents containing personal information about other people;
- Documents containing ‘commercial in-confidence’ material;
- Information obtained in confidence; and
- Personal details of others.
What if my Freedom of Information application is refused?
If you are refused access to documents or are not satisfied with the action or decision taken by Council under the FOI Act, you have the right to apply for a review of your original request. This can be done by applying in writing to:
Chief Executive Officer
Towong Shire Council
PO Box 55
Tallangatta VIC 3700
Council must receive the request for a review within 28 days of the date of the original letter written to you. If you are dissatisfied with the outcome, you may lodge a further review with the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal. For further information go to the Department of Justice’s Freedom of Information website.
Documents available for public inspection
Government legislation also requires Council to make certain documents available for public inspection and purchase. This applies to documents that are provided by Council for the use or guidance of Council or its officers in making decisions or providing advice to persons outside Council with respect to rights, privileges, benefits, obligations or penalties.
Documents publicaly available can be found below or in the Council Plans, Strategies and Reports section of this website.