Right to Information and Information Privacy
The Right to Information Act 2009 is the Queensland Government's approach to ensure that the community is provided with greater access to information held by government agencies – unless on balance it is contrary to the public interest to provide that information. The Right to Information Act 2009 replaces the Freedom of Information Act 1992.
The Information Privacy Act 2009 is a formal means of requesting access to and amendment of your personal information, if you believe it to be incorrect, misleading or out of date.
Formal access applications under Right to Information Act or Information Privacy Act should only be made as a last resort, where information is not otherwise accessible.
The Right to Information Act and the Information Privacy Act aims to:
- make more information available
- provide equal access to information across all sectors of the community
- provide appropriate protection for individuals' privacy
How do I access Information?
Consider an Administrative Action Review
Before you make a Right to Information or Information Privacy application, you should consider an Administrative Action Review. You can find information regarding this process on our Customer Service and Feedback page.
How to make a Right to Information application
Please complete an application form and lodge, along with your payment of the necessary fee, either:
• In person at our Bamaga office
• By post (CEO, PO Box 200, Bamaga, 4876)
The Acts requires your application be made in writing. An official application form which is available at RTI Queensland Government website.
Limitations on access
Please be aware there are exemptions which may apply to applications for access to information held by us, for example that involve operational and investigation documents. This does not mean that an application to access such information cannot be made. To obtain access to documents relating to a particular investigation, the documents must consist of information about the applicant and the investigation must be finalised. It is possible that parties not involved in an investigation may not be able to access investigation files.
What is considered a ‘Document’ under the Acts?
For the purposes of the Right to Information Act and Information Privacy Act, the term "document" includes files, computer printouts, maps, plans, photographs, tape recordings, films or videotapes and other means of storing information, no matter how old or recent.
Can I see all documents?
Some documents are exempt under these Acts to protect essential public interests or the personal or business information of others. Sometimes part of a document may not be available if it contains information which is exempt (e.g. name and address of complainant/s).
If you are refused access to a document or given partial access only, we must give you written reasons for the decision and tell you of your rights of appeal.
What are ‘personal information’ documents?
Personal information documents include information on any matter of personal or private concern to an individual such as medical records, family or domestic relationships, income, assets and financial records.
When you want to see documents containing information about your own personal information, you will have to show proof of identity.
How much will it cost to lodge an application?
There is no application fee to look at documents about your personal information. You can also ask for a free copy of these documents (available via CD or email only). If you require a hard copy of your personal information documents, there will be additional photocopying charges. Charges are determined under legislation by the Office of the Information Commissioner.
However, there is a fee for non-personal applications, (go to the Queensland Government website for current fees) and other charges for making photocopies, plus special rates for other means of information storage (e.g. video). If the time taken to process your application exceeds five hours, there may be additional charges. Charges are determined under legislation by the Office of the Information Commissioner.