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Freedom of information

You can request access to documents held by Council. What you can access and how you go about it is guided by the Freedom of Information Act 1982.

This includes written documents in printed or in electronic form, photographs, letters, reports, maps, audio and video recordings.

Submitting a request for information

To submit an FOI request to Council you must:

  • complete our online FOI Request Form below
  • pay the non-refundable application fee.

Your request must include a description of the documents that you are seeking. Include a time period and the type of documents you are seeking e.g. ‘Reports between Mr. A and Mr. B from 1 January 2010 to 1 February 2010'. Make sure your request is specific to avoid being charged for irrelevant documents.

Use concise language; try to avoid vague phrases such as ‘all documents in relation to' and ‘including but not limited to'.

Fees and Charges

When you submit a request access to documents you must pay a non-refundable application fee before your request can be processed.

You may also be charged for search and retrieval services, photocopying etc. If we think that your application costs will exceed $50, we will contact you and ask you to pay a deposit and confirm that you wish to continue with the request.

GST is not payable on any fees or charges under the FOI Act.

You may make your payment either in person at one of our Customer Service Centres or over the phone by calling 5734 6200. An application fee must accompany you request before an office can commence processing your request.

Processing your request

When we receive your request, our Freedom of Information Officer will:

  • determine if it is a valid request
  • write to you to acknowledge receipt of your request
  • forward your request to the relevant area to request the documents
  • conduct a search on Council's Electronic Document Management System
  • review the documents to make sure they meet the search criteria
  • remove irrelevant documents or sections of documents in accordance with the Act.

Under the Act, Council has 30 days to process a valid request, from the day we receive your request and application fee.

Exempt documents

Council can refuse to give you access to certain documents or information. You may be refused access to an entire document or be given access to a document with exempt information deleted.

Exempt documents or information might include:

  • internal working documents
  • law enforcement documents
  • legal advice
  • personal information about 3rd parties
  • confidential documents or documents that are covered by secrecy provisions in other legislation.

Requesting a review

If you are not satisfied with the decision made by our FOI Officer, you can request a review. Your request must be in writing and within 28 days of receiving the decision and should be addressed to:

Freedom of Information Commissioner
Office of the Freedom of Information Commissioner
PO BOX 24274
Melbourne VIC 3001

For more information go to the Freedom of Information Commissioner website.

About the Freedom of Information Act

The Freedom of Information Act 1982 provides the community with a right to access information (unless categorised as exempt) in the possession of the Government of Victoria and other bodies constituted under the law of Victoria.

For more information about the Act, go to the Freedom of Information website.

Mitchell Shire Council Freedom of Information Part II Statement

Each year we are required to publish a statement about our what we do and how we are structured, and list all documents that are either produced by us or in our possession.

The purpose of this Part II Statement is to:

  • make the community aware of the existence of documents held by Mitchell Shire Council
  • provide the community with the information needed to identify specific documents of interest
  • provide details of how to apply for access to said documents.

Apply for Freedom of Information - Form

Video guide

Tips for making your FOI request

This page was last updated on 23 February 2022.