The Right to Information Act 2009 gives people the right to access documents or information held by Council not usually publically available and encourages Council to release documents unless they contain information which is exempt or which is contrary to the public interest.
> Right to Information Act 2009
The Information Privacy Act 2009 outlines how Council should manage an individual’s personal information by providing fair collection and handling practices for personal information and also giving people the right to access and amend their own personal information held by Council.
> Information Privacy Act 2009
This legislation replaces the former Freedom of Information Act 1992.
Further information about Whole of Government policy and the relevant legislation is available from the Queensland Government.
> Right to Information and Information Privacy website
Did you know you have the right to access information held by Council?
Burdekin Shire Council collects and stores information about the region, properties, land, individuals, even animals. New legislation supports your access to much of this information, while maintaining appropriate access restrictions for personal or confidential information.
You can check to see if the information sought is already available:
- by visiting the Burdekin Shire Council website
- by viewing the Publication Scheme (see below)
- by contacting us by email: or by telephone: 07 4783 9800.
What information is already available? Council’s publication scheme
The RTI Act requires Council to publish a list of information on its website that is routinely available to residents, known as a ‘publication scheme.’ The information in the publication scheme is grouped into seven classes:
Charges for information
There will be no charge for examining any publication scheme information contained on Council’s websites. However, there may be a charge if a large volume of printed material is required. You can request printed copies of any of the documents available in our publication scheme from our customer service centre. You will be told about any photocopying charges at the time of your request.
The cover price will be charged for any publications produced by the council for sale. Charges will be kept under review and there is no intention to charge for material that has previously been available for free.
You can access a copy of Council’s Fees and Charges here.
The disclosure log is a record of Right to Information (RTI) Applications with Burdekin Shire Council. The disclosure log identifies documents that have been released under the RTI act of a non-personal nature. Once documents have been released they are available for access without going through the RTI process. Click here to view the Disclosure Log.
What is right to information?
The Queensland Government recognises that the public has a right to know the information that is created and used by government on their behalf.
The Right to Information reforms mean increased public access to government information. Access to information using legislation such as the Right to Information Act (RTI Act) and Information Privacy Act (IP Act) should be a` last resort’. RTI promotes a culture of openness, accountability and transparency, balanced with appropriate protection for certain information, including personal information. In practice, this means that information will be released unless, on balance, its release is contrary to public interest.
What does the RTI Act cover?
The RTI Act covers documents of a non-personal nature that cannot be accessed from another source, for example Council’s internet.
RTI Application – e.g. the following documents would need to be accessed by submitting an RTI application:
- Works maintenance reports
Public documents – e.g. the following documents can be accessed via the Council’s website:
What is the Information Privacy Act?
The Information Privacy Act 2009 (the IP Act) contains two sets of privacy principles, which regulate how personal information is collected, secured, used and disclosed by Queensland public sector agencies. There are 11 Information Privacy Principles (IPPs) for Queensland public sector agencies, and 9 National Privacy Principles (NPPs) for Queensland Health. Both the IPPs and NPPs are adapted from the Commonwealth Privacy Act 1988. The IP Act sets out a limited number of situations where the privacy principles will not apply, such as for law enforcement purposes.
What does the IP Act cover?
The IP Act provides a formal mechanism for a person to apply to access or amend their own personal information. This mechanism, which is set out in chapter 3 of the IP Act, is intended to be a last resort. Agencies are encouraged to provide informal (administrative) access and amendment options to people wherever practicable.
For further information, please review Council’s fact sheet:
Information Privacy Frequently Asked Questions
Making an application under the RTI Act or the IP Act
If you have checked that the information you are seeking is not available in another way (even if a charge is applicable) then you will need to make a formal access application under the RTI Act or IP Act. If you are seeking information that is a combination of both personal and non-personal information, you will need to make an application under the RTI Act.
We recommend contacting us prior to making an application as it is often helpful to discuss the application at an early stage so that Council understands what information you are seeking. In some cases, there may be another way of giving you access to the documents you want, without having to make a formal application.
Please be mindful that legislative exemptions may apply and you may receive documents with exemption information or contrary to public interest information, deleted.
For further information, please review Council’s fact sheet: Making an application
Information Privacy applications
The IP Act allows you to apply for access to documents containing your own personal information.
There are no charges for applications under the IP Act, but you will need to provide evidence of identity. The types of proof include a certified copy of your driver’s licence, passport or birth certificate.
If you are acting on someone’s behalf, you must provide evidence of both identities as well as sufficient proof of your authorisation to act on the person’s behalf.
Applications must be submitted on the prescribed form. Download and print the RTI IP Access Application Form.
Right to Information applications
The RTI Act allows you to make an application to access documents that are in Council’s possession or control and which contain information that is ‘non-personal’.
If you are making an application under the RTI Act you will need to pay an application fee of $46.40. The application fee for RTI applications cannot be waived.
If your application will take over five hours to process, Council will provide you with a charges estimate notice. At this stage you can decide to withdraw or amend your application or you can agree to the charges and continue with your application. If charges are applicable, we will contact you with more information.
Charges are set by the state government and are $7.20 for each 15 minutes spent processing your application. Council provides documents free of charge on CD, USB or email, however if you require printed copies of the documents an A4 black and white photocopy is $0.25 per page.
If you have a health care card or a concession card, a written application can be made to have the processing and/or access charges waived.
Applications must be submitted on the prescribed form. Download and print the RTI IP Access Application Form.
Submitting your application
All RTI/IP applications to Burdekin Shire Council must be submitted to Council by post to PO Box 974, Ayr Qld 4807 or in person using the prescribed form. All applications must provide a specific description of the information you require and provide an address for notices of the Act to be sent to the applicant.
If you are making an RTI application to a Queensland Government department only, you can apply online at their website.
For more information on lodging an application go to the Queensland Government’s Right to Information website.
How long does the application take to process?
The RTI Act and IP Act allow Council 25 business days to process an application, but this can be extended under some circumstances.
This timeline can be subject to extensions depending on particular requirements of the application (for example, when third party consultation is required a further 10 business days is added to the processing time).
If an application is outside the scope of Right to Information (RTI) or Information Privacy (IP), Council will advise the applicant within 10 business days.
If the application does not meet all the requirements of a valid application, Council will advise the applicant within 15 business days, with an aim to assisting the applicant in making a valid application.
What if I am not satisfied?
If you are not satisfied with any decision regarding your application you have the right to ask for a review.
For instance you may have been refused access to whole or part of a document, refused an amendment, or perhaps you are concerned that your personal or business information will be disclosed to someone else.
You have the options of applying for an:
Internal Review – If you disagree with Council’s decision, you can apply to Council for an internal review of the decision. There is no fee or charge for an internal review but an application must be in writing and lodged with Council within 20 business days after the date of the written notice of the decision. A more senior delegated officer to the original decision maker will review your application and inform you of the review decision within 20 business days, including reasons as to why the original decision is affirmed, modified or overturned. You may choose to request an external review from the Information Commissioner instead of an internal review by Council.
External Review – If you disagree with the internal review decision, you can request an external review. You may also request an external review when Council takes longer than the prescribed time to make the decision on your application. Your request for external review should be addressed to:
Office of the Information Commissioner, PO Box 10143, Adelaide Street, BRISBANE QLD 4000
The Information Commissioner may change or confirm the decision made on your information privacy request or try to mediate a settlement between you and the Council. There is no fee or charge for an external review.
For more information regarding external reviews visit www.oic.qld.gov.au or call the Office of the Information Commissioner on 07 3234 7373.
Accessing or amending your personal details
- You can amend simple details, such as your address or phone number by calling our customer service centre on (07) 4783 9800 and asking a customer service officer to update your details.
- If you are a property owner, and wish to amend the ownership name associated with your property this can be done with the assistance of your solicitor. Council can only amend the name of ownership for a property with the correct authority. Fees may apply.
- If you wish to make an application for personal information, applications must be submitted on the prescribed form. View the IP Personal Information Amendment Form. No fees apply.
- Evidence of Identity must be provided within 10 business days.
- Applications to be lodged to Burdekin Shire Council by post to PO Box 974, Ayr Qld 4807, by fax to (07) 4783 9999 or by Email to or in person.