Victoria's Freedom of Information Act 1982 allows the community to access information held by a range of government agencies, including councils.
Under the Act, you have the right to request:
documents held by Council created after 1 January 1999
documents about your personal affairs and the activities of government agencies
that incorrect or misleading information about you be amended or removed.
Not all information is automatically available. The Act allows an agency to refuse access to certain documents – 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.
Making a Freedom of Information (FOI) request
To make a Freedom of Information (FOI) request, please fill out the Freedom of Information Request Form and return it to us along with the prescribed fee. All fees are determined by the Freedom of Information (Access Charges) Regulation 1993.
If you're refused access to documents or aren't satisfied with the action or decision taken by Council under the Act, you can apply in writing for a review of your original request. You should send this to:
The Chief Executive Officer Towong Shire Council PO Box 55 Tallangatta VIC 3700
We must receive your review request within 28 days of the date of the original letter written to you. If you're not satisfied with the outcome, you may lodge a further review with the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.
We're committed to sound democratic governance. In line with the Local Government Act 2020, Council information is publicly available unless:
the information is confidential by virtue of legislation
public availability of the information would be contrary to the public interest.
Our Public Transparency Policy formalises our commitment to transparency and we publish a number of documents proactively on our website. In particular, the Council plans, budgets and reports and the Council policies pages contain key documents related to how we operate.
Other information requests
Many documents are available outside the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act. You don't need an FOI application for information available publicly, such as on a public register.
If you'd like to request access to these documents, please contact us on 1300 365 222 or email@example.com.