Make a Right to Information application
Under the Right to Information Act 2009 (Qld) (the Act) and the Information Privacy Act 2009 (Qld) (IP Act), the Queensland Government will provide access to documents it holds, unless, on balance, it is contrary to the public interest to provide that information.
Right to information (RTI) legislation is the Queensland Government's approach to giving the community greater access to information.
How to apply
Before you make an RTI application, check to see if the information is already available in the:
If the information is not available, you can apply to access documents held in the department.
Your application must:
- be in the approved form and accompanied by the application fee
- give enough information about the document so the responsible officer of the department or the Minister can identify the document
- state an address to which notices may be sent.
You can either:
- apply online, or
- email or post your application and evidence of identity to the department.
If you are unable to apply online, please contact this office on (07) 3008 3117 and we will send you an application form.
Under the RTI Act, a summary of the information being requested will be published on the department’s disclosure log as soon as practicable after your application is received.
If the documents contain your personal information, you are required to provide a certified copy of evidence of your identity, e.g. a passport, driver’s licence or birth certificate. A document is considered certified when it is a photocopy of an original document and witnessed by a lawyer or notary public, a commissioner for declarations or a justice of the peace as being a correct copy of the original document.
If you are an agent acting for the applicant you will need to provide the applicant’s authorisation, in writing, for the documents to be released to you along with evidence of your (the agent’s) identity.
- Make a right to information application
- Apply to amend your personal information
- Request a review of decision
Fees and charges
The Right to Information Regulation 2009 (Qld) provides that an application fee must be paid at the time of lodging an access application. The application fee cannot be waived.
There are no further charges if your application is processed in less than 5 hours. However, if the processing time is likely to exceed 5 hours, you will receive a written estimate of the applicable charge.
Charges may be waived if an individual or non-profit organisation can establish the identified charges would cause a financial hardship:
- Individuals: Holders of a health care card or pensioner concession card under the Social Security Act 1991 (Cwlth) or a pensioner concession card issued by the department of the Commonwealth in which the Veteran’s Entitlements Act 1986 (Cwlth) is administered, are deemed to be in financial hardship. An applicant can request, in writing, that any processing and/or access charges be waived and the request must be accompanied by a certified copy of a health care card or pensioner concession card.
- Non-profit organisations: The Information Commissioner may, on written application by a non-profit organisation, decide whether a non-profit organisation has financial hardship status by considering the nature and size of the organisation’s funding base and the amount of the organisation’s liquid assets.
The department has 25 business days to make a decision after a valid application has been received.
This can be extended in certain circumstances, i.e. if consultation with a third party is required. You will be notified in writing of any changes to the due date.
Applications involving third parties
If the release of the documents may reasonably be expected to be of concern to a third party, the views of the third party are taken into account when making a decision on the application.
The documents will not be provided to you until the rights of review of the third party have expired or the review application is decided.
If access is granted
You will be notified in writing of the decision.
Once payment of all relevant charges has been received you will be provided with copies of the documents.
Should access be granted to other materials (such as audio tape and video recordings) and copies are not able to be sent to you, the decision maker will discuss with you how, when and where you can view the material.
If you are refused access to a document, the department must provide written reasons for the decision and explain your rights of review. Applications for review of a decision must be made within 20 business days after the date of the written notice of decision.
The released documents may be published online in the department’s disclosure log along with your name and, if another person, company or body will use or benefit from the documents sought, the name of that person, entity or body. Some information may be removed from the document before it is published – for example, personal information or information that may be defamatory.
Review of a decision
If you disagree with a decision, you can apply to the department for an internal review of the decision. The reviewing officer will make a new decision as if the original decision had not been made.
However, you do not have to request an internal review in order to apply to the Office of the Information Commissioner for an external review of the department’s decision.
There are no fees or charges for reviews of decisions.
Subpoena and other notices of the Court
If documents are required for a current court proceeding, parties to the proceeding can access the department’s documents via subpoena or other Notices of the Court (for example, Notices of Non-Party Disclosure or Notices to Produce). Discuss the option of accessing documents via subpoena or similar notice with your legal representative and contact the Registry of the relevant Court or Tribunal to have a notice issued to the department.
The subpoena must be addressed to the Director-General, Department of Energy and Public Works and be delivered to the RTI and Privacy Unit.
- Last updated:
- 9 July 2021