The Huon Valley Council has adopted a policy regarding access to information kept on Council’s records.
You may find information from the Huon Valley Council in one of the following ways:
- Council Website
- Look in our annual reports
- Look at our publications
- Through the Tasmanian Archives and Heritage Office (TAHO)
- Tasmania Online
- Local Government Association of Tasmania (LGAT)
- Local Government Government Division (LGDiv)
- Direct from the Council
Purchase of Information Procedure
To purchase information you will be required to complete an Access to Information application form.
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 be notified of any delays.
Why do we have a Right to Information Act?
Section 3 of the Act includes this statement of the objects of the Act:
- The object of this Act is to improve democratic government in Tasmania by:-
(a) increasing the accountability of the executive to the people of Tasmania; and
(b) increasing the ability of the people of Tasmania to participate in their governance; and
(c) 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.
- This object is to be pursued by giving members of the public the right to obtain information held by public authorities and Ministers.
- This object is also to be pursued by giving members of the public the right to obtain information about the operations of Government.
- It is the intention of Parliament that: –
(a) this Act be interpreted so as to further the object set out in subsection (1); and
(b) 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.
Fees and Charges
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%.
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
- 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.
After we receive an application
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
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.