Freedom of Information
The Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act) enables any member of the community to request information in documentary form held by Government and their agencies.
The FOI Act does not apply to documents which are available for a fee, part of a public register or are already publicly available; for example, a copy of a Planning Permit.
For Planning and Building documents, please see section below.
Our Freedom of Information Part II Information Statement explains how Council is making information readily available to the public.
How to make a Freedom of Information request
All requests must be for documents and be in writing. You need to be specific with the types of documents you are requesting and provide us with a timeframe. If the terms of your request are not deemed sufficiently clear; under section 17 of the FOI Act you will be asked to provide clarification.
All requests must be accompanied by the application fee (see fees and charges below).
Download: Freedom of Information Application Form(PDF, 295KB)
Your form can be lodged with us as follows:
Via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Via post: the FOI Officer, Mornington Peninsula Shire Council, Private Bag 1000, Rosebud VIC 3939
In person at either the Rosebud, Mornington or Hastings Customer Service Centres.
For more information visit the Make a freedom of information request page on The Office of the Victorian Information Commissioner (OVIC) website.
Fees and Charges
Under section 22 of the FOI Act and the Freedom of Information (Access Charges) Regulations 2014, access charges are applicable to FOI requests. The application fee and access charges increase annually on 1 July and are set by government regulations. A summary of the charges is as follows:
Application Fee: $31.80 (from 1 July 2023)
- Search time – per hour or part thereof: $23.90
- Supervision for inspection of documents – per hour to be calculated per quarter hour or part thereof: $23.90 per hour. Up to 15 minutes - $6.00.
- per black and white A4 page: 20 cents
- Copying charges – other formats: Reasonable costs incurred by Council.
* The Mornington Peninsula Shire imposes a 0.36% surcharge on all credit and debit card payments.
- No charges apply to requests for the correction or amendment of your own personal information.
- Under section 22(4) of the FOI Act, if it is estimated that the charges will be between $50.00 and $100.00, a deposit of $25.00 is required before the request is further processed.
- If the calculated amount will exceed $100.00, the required deposit amount is 50% of the estimated charge.
- Documents are not provided until the applicable charges are paid.
- Final access charges are calculated once the documents have been located; you will be notified of the additional amount to be paid. Access charges consist of search time, photocopying and inspection charges.
- The application fee may be waived if payment would cause you hardship. Council requires evidence of hardship to waive the fee. Examples of suitable evidence include a copy of the applicant’s valid Health Care or Pensioner Concession card.
Processing a Freedom of Information Request
The timeframes for processing an FOI Application can vary depending on a number of factors.
The minimum timeframe for processing an FOI Application is 30 days or 45 days if consultation is required. This commences from the date a valid application is received and the terms of the request are sufficiently clear to proceed. If not, we will write to you asking for more detail.
Extensions of time may be required if third party consultation is required. We must consult with individuals and businesses whose personal information is included in documents to be released to gain their views on the disclosure of the information.
Where a decision is made to release a third party’s information where the third party did not consent to the release of the information, they have 60 days in which to appeal the decision to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT). The material must be withheld pending the expiry of the appeal period.
You will be notified of the decision in writing and will either:
- release all the documents in full
- release part of the documents
- release none of the documents
- advise you that we could not find any documents
You can ask for access to any document held by Mornington Peninsula Shire Council, however there are some cases where access may not be granted, or documents provided in a redacted form due to exemptions permissible under the Act. Common exemptions relevant to council documents are:
- Law enforcement documents – section 31(1)
- Documents affecting legal proceedings – section 32(1)
- Personal information about a person other than the applicant (such as names, addresses, phone numbers) – section 33(1)
- Information relating to trade secrets (putting a commercial business at an unreasonable disadvantage) – section 34(1)
- Information obtained in confidence – section 35(1)
Planning and Building documents
You can contact Council’s Freedom of Information Officer with your enquiries and for assistance in making a valid request under the FOI Act.
Phone: 5950 1000
Office of the Victorian Information Commissioner
The Office of the Victorian Information Commissioner (OVIC) is an independent regulator with combined oversight of information access, information privacy, and data protection. You can contact OVIC for a review of an FOI decision made by Council or if you have a complaint about the way Council has handled your request.
For further information about FOI, visit ovic.vic.gov.au