Freedom of information

The Freedom of Information Act 1982 was created to promote openness, accountability and transparency by giving the public the right to access government information.

The object of the Act is to ‘extend as far as possible the right of the community to access documents in the possession of the Government of Victoria, including documents held by local councils.

All members of the public have the right to apply for access to documents held by council. In essence, it gives members of the public a right of access to documents in the possession of Council, which were created or received after 1 January 1989.

The protection of the public interest and private and business affairs may cause some documents to be exempted from access.

A person is not entitled to obtain access under Freedom of Information (FOI) to a document that:

  • contains information that is open to public access or
  • is part of a public register or
  • in accordance with another Act, where access is subject to a fee or other charge or
  • contains information that is available for purchase by the public in accordance with arrangements made by Council

FOI principles

The FOI Act has four basic principles:

  1. The public has a legal right of access to information
  2. Local governments are required to publish information concerning the documents they hold
  3. People may request that inaccurate, incomplete, out-of-date or misleading information in their personal records be amended
  4. People may appeal against a decision not to give access to the information or not to amend a personal record.

FOI requests

A FOI Access request must be accompanied by a non-refundable application fee of $30.60.

Apply for a FOI request  

Further charges may be incurred, which can include the cost of accessing the information (that is: retrieval from storage) and photocopying.

Additional fees

Per hour search fee
Per quarter hour supervision time
Photocopies - per copy:
A4 single sided


  • Costs for various Certificates provided by Council are set by the State Government.
  • If the charges are not paid, the information will not be provided.

On receipt of your request, we must make a decision within 30 days. This time period may be extended by 15 days where the Act requires us to consult with third parties. Where a decision is made to refuse or defer access, you will be notified in writing of the reasons for the refusal and the procedures available to appeal the decision.

Appeals procedure

If a FOI request is denied, the applicant can appeal against the decision. Appeals must be lodged within 28 days of the issue of the response by Council and should be addressed to:

Information Commissioner
PO Box 24274
Melbourne VIC 3001

Need to know more...

For all enquiries to access information available to the public, further information on the FOI Act and procedures please contact Customer service on 03 5272 5272 or send an email to [email protected].

Page last updated: Thursday, 30 June 2022