You are here Home About Council Council structure & governance Right to information

Right to information

What is Right to Information?

Right to Information is the Queensland Government’s approach to giving the community greater access to information. We are committed to provide access to information held by Central Highlands Regional Council, unless on balance it is contrary to the public interest to provide that information.

The Right to Information Act and Information Privacy Act both came into effect on 1 July 2009, replacing the Freedom of Information Act 1992.

Right to Information reforms aim to make more information available, provide equal access to information across all sectors of the community, and provide appropriate protection for individuals’ privacy.

The Right to Information Act is complemented by the Information Privacy Act, which establishes a right to access and to amend personal information.

You can find more about both Right to Information and Information Privacy on the Queensland Government website.

  • Accessing Information
  • Making an Application
  • Fees, Charges and Timeframes
  • Accessing Information

Council is committed to providing the community with open and transparent access to information about council services, activities and business operations.

You can check to see if the information you seek is already available:

Many council documents are also available for inspection or purchase.

For information that is not normally publicly available, you will need to make an application under the Right to Information Act or Information Privacy Act.

Please see the “Making an Application” tab above to obtain details on how to make an application for access to information.

  • Making an Application

Requests for access to documents under RTI and IP legislation exclude documents that are readily available by other means.  If you have not been able to find the information you are looking for through our website or by requesting it from council staff, you may wish to make an application under the RTI Act or IP Act. This process provides a formal means of obtaining documents held by council, and should be used as a last resort.

Please complete and lodge the Right to Information application form together with your payment of the applicable fee (outlined in “Fees, Charges and Timeframes” tab) either:

  • In person at council’s Customer Service Centres.
  • By mail addressed to,
    “The Right to Information Officer,
    Central Highlands Regional Council,
    PO Box 21, Emerald QLD 4720”
  • By email addressed to enquiries@chrc.qld.gov.au

Please note that you will be required to provide proof of identity with your application. This may be sighted by council staff when applying over the counter or a certified copy of your driver’s licence will need to be submitted with your application if you are posting or emailing it to council.

All applications must clearly identify the specific documents requested or provide sufficient information about the documents, to enable the RTI Officer to identify the documents being sought.

Please note that each application is dealt with individually. Personal details of the complaintant (names, addresses etc.) are generally not released

  • Fees, Charges and Timeframes
Application Type Act Application Fee Proof of Identity Required Processing Fees Timeframe for Decision
Non-Personal Information Right to Information Act $46.40 Not applicable If more than 5 hours spent processing the application a charges of $7.20 for each 15 minutes spent applies 25 business days
Personal Information Information Privacy Act Not applicable Yes Not applicable 25 business days
Personal Information (acting on behalf of another person) Information Privacy Act Not applicable Yes – both parties Not applicable 25 business days
Mixed Application  (both personal and non-personal information) Right to information Act $46.40 Yes If more than 5 hours spent processing the application a charges of $7.20 for each 15 minutes spent applies 25 business days
Amendment of personal information Information Privacy Act Not applicable Yes Not applicable 25 business days
  • Application Fee

    An application fee of $46.40 must be paid when applying for information under the Right to Information Act.  An application is not valid and no action will be taken until this fee is paid.

    The Right to Information Act does not allow the application fee to be waived under any circumstances.

    There may also be other charges relating to the processing of the RTI application and accessing the documents.

  • Processing and Access Charges

    Processing charges apply to access information under the Right to Information Act and must be paid if an application takes more than 5 hours to process.

    The time spent on processing the application is charged at $7.20 for each 15 minutes or part of 15 minutes.

    There may be charges for:

    • time spent searching or retrieving documents
    • making a decision on the application
    • relocation of the document to allow access to the document
    • any written transcript of words recorded contained in the form of sound or shorthand writing
    • photocopying charges $0.25 cents per page (A4 black & white page)

    No processing charge is payable in relation to a document that contains information that is the applicant’s personal information.

  • Charges Estimate Notice

    If an application involves the retrieval of a number of documents and processing charges are applicable a charges estimate notice (CEN) will be sent to advise the estimated cost of processing the application.

    The applicant is required to contact the RTI officer within 20 business days of receiving this notice to:

    • confirm the charges and agree to pay, or
    • amend the application, narrowing the scope of the request thereby reducing the charges, or
    • withdraw the application.

    If the RTI officer is not contacted by the end of the 20 day period, the application will be taken as having been withdrawn.

  • Payment of Charges

    Payment of the processing and access charges must be made before access to the documents is given.  Payment of the agreed processing charges must also be made, even if access to some or all of the documents is refused.

    Payment can be made via the payment methods outlined in the Charges Estimate notice.

  • Waiver of Charges

    Application fees are not able to be waived.

    The Right to Information Act allows processing and access charges to be waived on grounds of financial hardship for individuals and not for profit organizations.

    The sole criteria prescribed for determining whether an individual is experiencing financial hardship is whether the applicant is the holder of a concession card.

    Evidence of this card must be produced upon lodgement of the application.

    Not for profit organisations must apply for a waiver directly to the Information Commissioner at the address below:

    Office of the Information Commissioner
    PO Box 10143
    Adelaide Street
    BRISBANE  QLD  4000
    Fax:  07 3405 1122
    Email:  enquiries@oic.qld.gov.au

Register for SMS Alerts

Enter your mobile number and we will text you with important local alerts