Right to Information
Every member of the public has the right to access certain government information. Sorell Council is committed to transparency and complying with appropriate legislation.
The Right to Information Act 2009 gives members of the public the right to obtain information contained in the records of the Government and public authorities.
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
Sorell Council is required by the Right to Information Act 2009 to make information available to the public through proactive disclosure. This means we are to routinely make information available which will assist the public in understanding what it is we do and how we do it. Council provides information to the public through this website, and through the release of publications required under legislation, such as the Annual Report, Strategies, Plans, Policies, and By-laws, as well as being advertised through public notices in “The Mercury” and “The Sorell Times” newspapers. Some information is not released in this way, either because it is not of general public interest or because it is information the Council would need to assess against the exemptions in the Right to Information Act 2009 prior to disclosure.
If you cannot find the information you are after, contact us and we may be able to assist you in finding it, or we may give it to you. If it is not freely available we will assist you to make an application for an assessed disclosure.
We will process your application and may refer the request to another public authority if they are better placed to provide the information. We will assess your application against the Right to Information Act 2009 and let you know the outcome of that process in writing. 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 see a review of the decision.
Make a request for information
To make a request for information under the Right to Information Act 2009, please complete the form – Right To Information Application Form 2022-2023
Applications are to be addressed to:
PO Box 126
SORELL TAS 7172
Or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Applications for information need to be made to the department, authority or council holding the relevant information or most closely linked to the information. A webpage like this one is available for most other public authorities.
If you are not using the form, please note that your application must be made in writing and include the information which is requested in the Right To Information Application Form – this is a requirement of Regulation 4 of the Right to Information Regulations 2010.
Applications are to be accompanied by the application fee. This fee is listed in the Right To Information Application Form.
You may apply to have the fee waived if:
- You are impecunious i.e. experiencing financial hardship. You will be asked to provide evidence of this e.g. a concession card.
- You are a member of parliament and the application is in connection with your 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 your application fee.
What will we do once we have your application?
- We will check your application to make sure we have the information we need and that you have paid the application 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 followed 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 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:
PO Box 126
SORELL TAS 7172
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 your choose. Some information on reviews by the Ombudsman can be found on http://www.ombudsman.tas.gov.au/