Freedom of information requests

An important notice under current COVID-19 pandemic conditions

The current COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic may directly affect the GBRMPA’s ability to process FOI requests now and into the future.

Your FOI request may be subject to a delay due to mandatory COVID-19 response measures impacting the GBRMPA’s staff, meaning that your request may not be able to be actioned within statutory timeframes. In the circumstances that your FOI request is delayed as a result of mandatory COVID-19 response measures, we may seek your agreement to extend the processing timeframe under s15AA of the FOI Act. If you do not agree to an extension of the processing timeframe, the GBRMPA may apply to the OAIC for an extension of time under ss 15AB, 15AC or 54D of the FOI Act.

Freedom of Information requests

The Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act) gives any person the right to:

  • access copies of documents (except exempt documents) we hold,
  • ask for information we hold about you to be changed or annotated if it is incomplete, out of date, incorrect or misleading, and
  • seek a review of our decision not to allow you access to a document or not to amend your personal record

You can ask to see any document that we hold. We can refuse access to some documents, or parts of documents that are exempt. Exempt documents may include those relating to national security, documents containing material obtained in confidence and Cabinet documents, or other matters set out in the FOI Act.

Documents available outside the FOI Act

Before making an FOI request to the GBRMPA, you should consider speaking to the FOI Contact Officer on (07) 4750 0700, about the information you are seeking. GBRMPA staff are able to provide certain kinds of information without an FOI request, including documents that have previously been provided to you by us. You should also check the information we have published under the Information Publication Scheme and FOI disclosure log to see if what you are seeking is already available.

How to make a request

A sample application form is available but you do not have to use it. If you prefer, you can just write a letter.

To make an FOI request you should write to us specifying the documents that you are seeking, stating that you are making an FOI request and provide a return address for reply.

If you ask a third party to make an FOI request on your behalf, you need to provide specific, written authority for us to send copies of documents to you, care of that person, or to allow that person to inspect copies of documents containing information about you.

By email: foi@gbrmpa.gov.au

By post:
The FOI Contact Officer
c/- Legal Services
Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority
PO Box 1379
TOWNSVILLE QLD 4810

If you require assistance with your request, please contact the FOI Contact Officer on (07) 4750 0700 or by email.

Fees and charges

There is no application fees for an FOI request.

There are no processing charges for requests for access to documents containing only personal information about you. Processing charges may apply to other requests. The most common charges are:

Activity itemCharge
Search and retrieval: time we spend searching for or retrieving a document$15.00 per hour
Decision making: time we spend in deciding to grant or refuse a request, including examining documents, consulting with other parties, and making deletions$20 per hour
Photocopying$0.10 per page
Transcript: preparing a transcript from a sound recording, shorthand or similar medium    $4.40 per page of transcript
Inspection: supervision by an agency officer of your inspection of documents or hearing or viewing an audio or visual recording at our premises     $6.25 per half hour
 (or part thereof)
Delivery: posting or delivering a copy of a document at your request     Cost of postage or
 delivery

If the request incurs a charge, we will send you a written estimate of the estimated cost. Where the estimated charge is between $20 and $100, we may ask you to pay a deposit of $20, or where the estimated charge exceeds $100, we may ask you to pay a 25% deposit before we process your request.

You request the charge to be waived or reduced. If you do so, you should provide a explanation of your reasons. You may be requested to provide evidence based on your explanation.

What you can expect from us

  • you will be notified within 14 days of receipt of your request.
  • you will be provided with an estimate of the charges that will apply.
  • our decision will be given within 30 days unless that time has been extended. If a document contains information about a third party, we will need to consult them, this may result in an extension of the time to give you our decision by another 30 days.
  • we may also seek your agreement to extend the time by up to 30 days if your request is complex.

If you disagree with our decision

When a decision has been made about your FOI request, we will send you a letter explaining our decision, your review and appeal rights.

You can ask for the following decisions to be reviewed:

  • if we refuse to give you access to all or part of a document or if we defer giving you access
  • if we impose a charge
  • if we refuse to change or annotate information about you that you claim is incomplete, incorrect, out of date or misleading.

If a third party disagrees with our decision to give you documents that contains information about them, can also ask for our decision to be reviewed.

Internal review

You can request in writing that we reconsider our decision through an internal review. An internal review will be conducted by another officer in our agency. We will advise you of our new decision within 30 days of receiving your request.

Information Commissioner Review

You can ask the Australian Information Commissioner to review our original decision or our decision on internal review within 60 days of the date of decision (or 30 days after you are notified if you are an affected third party). The Information Commissioner can affirm or vary the decision or substitute a new decision. The Information Commissioner may decide not to conduct a review in certain circumstances. More information is available at the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) website.

Complaints about GBRMPA FOI decisions

If you are unhappy with the way we have handled your request, you can complain to the Australian Information Commissioner who may investigate our actions. More information is available on the OAIC’s website at www.oaic.gov.au. The Commonwealth Ombudsman can also investigate complaints about our actions. However, the Commonwealth Ombudsman and the Information Commissioner will consult to avoid the same matter being investigated twice.

If you require further information, please contact our FOI Contact Officer on (07) 4750 0700 or by email.