Freedom of Information

You may be able to access document(s) under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Cth) (the FOI Act) if there is no law that requires us to make a document available:

  • to the public on Council’s website or by public inspection; or
  • is available for a fee under another Act.

For example there are many documents available under the Planning and Environment Act 1987 and Building Act 1993.  If the document(s) you are seeking to access relate to a Planning or Building permit or endorsed plan please visit Property Information.  If you are able to access the document(s) you are seeking for a fee from Planning or Building then you are not required to submit a Freedom of Information Request.  If the document(s) you are seeking are not available from the Planning or Building department you can lodge a Freedom of Information Request.

The FOI Act gives every person a right to access our documents, except for exempt documents.

Exempt documents

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

Reasons for exemptions include:

  • internal working documents
  • law enforcement documents
  • legal advice
  • personal information about third parties
  • private commercial information
  • confidential documents or documents that are covered by secrecy provisions in other legislation

Submitting a request

To access these documents, complete a Freedom of information request. You will be required to pay a non-refundable application fee of $32.70.

We strongly recommend you call our Customer Service team on 03 9249 4000 before applying. Our Freedom of Information Officer will discuss your requirements and help you complete the form.

Fees and charges

When you submit a request to access documents you must pay a non-refundable application fee before your request can be processed.  Exemption from the application fee or a reduction of this fee on hardship grounds may be obtained with evidence of a current concession card.

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.

Fees and charges can be paid by any one of the following methods:

Post: Cheque or Money Order made payable to Brimbank City Council and posted to PO Box 70, Sunshine 3020.

In Person: Brimbank Community and Civic Centre, 301 Hampshire Road, Sunshine; or
Keilor Community Hub, 704b Old Calder Highway, Keilor.

Invoice: To request an invoice please email FOIRequest@brimbank.vic.gov.au  

Appealing fees and charges

If an application to waive or reduce the application fee on the grounds of financial hardship is not accepted by Council you have the right to seek review of that decision to the Information Commissioner.

If you wish to challenge a decision as to the amount of a charge, the review right is to appeal to VCAT, but only if a certificate is first obtained from the Information Commissioner that the matter is of sufficient importance for VCAT to consider.

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 search for the requested documents
  • review the discovered 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 payment of the application fee or deposit.

Requesting a review of a Freedom of Information decision

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.

Brimbank City Council Freedom of Information Part II Statement

The Freedom of Information Part II Statement provides a snapshot of our powers and functions, the documents and information we keep and the ways you can access them.  Providing easily accessible information reduced the need to submit FOI request under the Act.

Last updated: 1 July 2024 - 10:48am