Council

Freedom of Information

The Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act) enables any member of the community to request information held by Government and their agencies.

Council is not entitled to ask why an applicant wishes to have information under this Act.

This service cannot be used to access documents that are already available publicly or those that require a statutory fee (ie requesting a copy of your house plans).

Lodging an Application

To lodge an FOI request you need to fill in the FoI Application Form (PDF 236kb) and pay the necessary fees listed in the Schedule of Fees (PDF 194kb). The application fee can be waived under certain circumstances.

Payment can be made via:

  • Cash – in person at any of Councils Service Centres;
  • Cheque – Mail your cheque and application together to Bass Coast Shire Council, PO Box 118, Wonthaggi 3995;
  • Credit Card – mail the Credit Card Authority form (PDF 73kb) and application together to Bass Coast Shire Council,
    PO Box 118, Wonthaggi 3995.

You need to be specific with the types of documents you are requesting and provide us with a timeframe. If the terms of your request are not deemed sufficiently clear; under Section 17 of the FOI Act you will be asked to provide clarification.

Access Charges

Access Charges are calculated once the documents have been located; you will be notified of the additional amount to be paid. Access charges consist of search time, photocopying and inspection charges.

Timeframes

The timeframes for processing an FOI Application can vary depending on the relevant access charges and third party appeal rights.

  • The minimum timeframe for processing of an FOI Application is 45 days, this commences from the date when we determine the terms of your request to be sufficiently clear to proceed.
  • However, if the calculated access charges exceed $50 then the 45 day timeframe commences upon payment of a deposit towards the charges.
  • If you are seeking access to the personal information of an individual within the documents, and a decision is made to release that information, we are required to notify the affected individual of their right to appeal the decision to VCAT. They have 60 days in which to lodge their appeal with VCAT.
  • We then check with VCAT if an appeal has been lodged;
    • If no appeal has been lodged - the documents can then be released.
    • If an appeal was lodged – no documents are released until a determination has been reached by VCAT. For further information on Freedom of Information, visit:

The Victorian Freedom of Information website at http://www.foi.vic.gov.au or contact Council’s Freedom of Information Officer on 1300 BCOAST (226 278) or (03) 5671 2211.

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