Huon Valley Council, Tasmania
Huon Valley Council, Tasmania

Access to Information

The Huon Valley Council has adopted a policy regarding access to information kept on Council's records.

The Huon Valley Council Access to Information Policy(81 kb) sets out the following matters:

  • Information on Council records will be available for purchase subject to specified automatic exclusions.
  • The procedure for purchasing information.
  • Council will determine fees and charges for information with reduction of fees and charges for requests for information relating to a persons property or business dealing with Council by 50% for those persons.
  • FOI requests can at all times be made for excluded information but will not otherwise apply to information available for purchase.
  • Provision of information may be made in hard paper copy or electronic form as requested.
  • Protection of personal information of the applicant for purchase of information.
  • Publication of the Policy on Council's website.
  • Terms for review of the Policy.

The Policy can be downloaded from this website below and is available for inspection at the Council Offices at 40 Main Street, Huonville.

You may find information from the Huon Valley Council in one of the following ways:

Council Website -

  • Look at the Huon Valley Council Website 
  • Look in our annual reports
  • Look at our publications

Through the Tasmanian Archives and Heritage Office (TAHO)

If it is old information it may be deposited with the Tasmanian Archives and Heritage Office.

Via Tasmania Online

  • Search for the information on Tasmania Online (it may be available from another source) -  http://www.tas.gov.au/

Via Local Government Association of Tasmania (LGAT)

Via Local Government Government Division (LGDiv)

Direct from the Council

  • By enquiry as to availability of information
  • By an Access to (purchase of) Information application
  • By a Right to Information Act application for assessed disclosure

Purchase of Information Procedure

To purchase information you will be required to complete an Access to Information application form which can be downloaded from this website below or is available from the Council's Customer Service Centre at 40 Main Street, Huonville.

Depending on the information sought to be purchased fees and charges will apply and be required to be paid prior to provision of the information.

Every attempt will be given to provide the information to you on lodgement of the application but, depending on the nature of the information sought further search time may be required by Council and every endeavour will be given to provide the information within 15 working days or you will otherwise be notified of any delays.

Applications may be lodged in the following manner:

  • in person at the Council Offices at 40 Main Street, Huonville
  • sent by fax to: 03 6264 0399
  • sent by email to: hvc@huonvalley.tas.gov.au
  • sent by mail to: Huon Valley Council, PO Box 210, Huonville, 7109

Right to Information Act Applications

The Right to Information Act 2009 commenced on 1 July 2010 and provides for greater access to information held by government bodies by:

Authorising and encouraging greater routine disclosure of information held by public authorities without the need for requests or applications;

  • Authorising and encouraging greater active disclosure of information held by public authorities in response to informal requests without the need for applications;
  • Giving members of the public an enforceable right to information held by public authorities; and
  • Providing that access to information held by government bodies is restricted in only limited circumstances which are defined in the Act.

The Huon Valley Council is a public authority.

Section 3 of the Act includes this statement of the objects of the Act:

(1) The object of this Act is to improve democratic government in Tasmania -

(a) by increasing the accountability of the executive to the people of Tasmania; and

(b) by increasing the ability of the people of Tasmania to participate in their governance; and

(c) by acknowledging that information collected by public authorities is collected for and on behalf of the people of Tasmania and is the property of the State.

(2) This object is to be pursued by giving members of the public the right to obtain information held by public authorities and Ministers.

(3) This object is also to be pursued by giving members of the public the right to obtain information about the operations of Government.

(4) It is the intention of Parliament -

(a) that this Act be interpreted so as to further the object set out in subsection (1); and

(b) that discretions conferred by this Act be exercised so as to facilitate and promote, promptly and at the lowest reasonable cost, the provision of the maximum amount of official information.

The right to obtain information under the Act does not apply to information that:

  • is contained in a Council record that may be inspected by the public in accordance with any Act or
  • may be purchased in accordance with arrangements made by the Council.

An RTI request will be dealt with in accordance with the Act however RTI requests can only be made for information that is not available for inspection under any Act or for purchase under Council's Huon Valley Council Access to Information Policy(81 kb)

An RTI Request will only be dealt with for information that is excluded from purchase under the Policy, such information may be portions of a document or a whole document depending on nature of the information requested.

An RTI request for information which can be purchased will be refused and an Access to Information Application will be required to be completed in accordance with the above procedure.

A pro-forma Right to Information Application for Assessed Disclosure has been developed and can be downloaded from this website below or is available from Council's Customer Service Centre at 40 Main Street, Huonville.

Requests are to be marked to the General Manager and may be lodged in the following manner:

  • in person at the Council Offices at 40 Main Street, Huonville
  • sent by fax to: 03 6264 0399
  • sent by email to: hvc@huonvalley.tas.gov.au
  • sent by mail to: Huon Valley Council, PO Box 210, Huonville, 7109

Applications are to be accompanied by the application fee. This fee is 25 fee units, which is $37.00 as at 1 July 2014 and is indexed annually.

You may apply to have the fee waived if:

  • You are in financial hardship - evidence will be provided to support a request for the waiver.
  • Where you are a member of parliament and the application is in connection with their official duty; or
  • The you are able to gives us information which shows that the information sought is intended to be used for a purpose that is of general public interest or benefit.

Make sure you have looked for the information before you make a formal application, because if the information is otherwise available your application may be refused without the return of you application fee.

We will check your application to make sure we have the information we need and that you have paid the application fee (or we will waive the fee).

We may transfer your application to another public authority if we do not believe we are best placed to provide you with the information.

Before your application is accepted, we may need to contact you to ask you about your application, this will help us to understand your request.

Once we have done these steps an officer will assess your application against the Right to Information Act 2009 and let you know the outcome of that process in writing.

You will be be notified of the decision on your application for assessed disclosure as soon as practicable, but in no more than 20 working days of the application being accepted.

If your request is complex or for a large amount of information we may ask you to give us more time.

If there is a need to consult with a third party about their business affairs or about their personal information, more time is automatically given and we will let you know the outcome as soon as practicable, but no later than 40 working days - we will let you know if this is happening.

If the application or part of the application is refused, then the reasons for the refusal to provide the information must be provided as part of the decision together with details on the right to seek a review of the decision.   This is done by writing to:

The General Manager, Huon Valley Council, PO Box 210, Huonville, 7109

If the officer assessing your request does not get back to you in the timeframe allowed then we are taken to have refused your application and you are able to make an application for review to the Ombudsman if you choose. Some information on reviews by the Ombudsman can be found on the Office of the Ombudsman's website.

Fees and Charges

In accordance with the Policy Council has determined a general Schedule of Fees and charges relating to purchase of Council information.

Under State Government legislation some information is subject to fees and charges that have been set by the Government and some information may be also inspected free of charge.

If your application is for information that relates to your property, personal affairs or business dealing with Council the fees and charges will in some instances be reduced by 50%.

The Purchase of Information Fee Schedule can be downloaded from this website below and is available for inspection at the Council's Customer Service Centre, 40 Main Street, Huonville.

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