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Freedom of Information (FOI) Act

The Freedom of Information (FOI) Act 1982 gives members of the public access to Government documents.

About the Act

You have the right to access documents held by Council. This is subject to some exemptions.

The Act also lets you request Council amend any incorrect or misleading information held about you.

View the Freedom of Information Act 1982

Find out about the publication of certain documents - Part II Statement

About documents

Under the Act, a document can be:

  • a file
  • a note
  • a photograph
  • a map
  • a Post-It note
  • a phone record
  • anything with information on it or in it.

If documents include personal information about you, you can request all related records. This is regardless of the age of those documents.

Note that some documents are only accessible if dated or created on or after 1 January 1989.

What makes a request valid

A valid FOI request must:

  • be made in writing (preferably on the FOI Application Form)
  • be submitted with an application fee of $31.80
  • provide enough information about the documents, or category of documents, and date range you need. This helps us identify what you're after.
Make a FOI request

To make an information request, complete the FOI Application Form.

An application fee of $31.80 is required, unless there are special circumstances where payment of such a fee would cause hardship, which would enable the fee to be waived or appropriately reduced.

This includes outlining how payment of the fee would cause financial hardship (evidence must be provided in the form of documentation such as a health care card, pension card and documentation such as bank statements outlining the circumstances of financial hardship or a statutory declaration outlining why the payment would cause hardship).

Payment can be made over the counter at the Knox Civic Centre, via cheque or via an invoice which can be sent electronically to you.

An FOI request will incur search fees on top of the Application Fee, which is determined on an hourly basis of search time.

If you are seeking Health Records under the Health Records Act 2001, you must additionally sign the following Health Records Declaration Form.

After you submit your FOI request, the process is:

  1. We acknowledge your request and confirm the due date.
  2. We begin a search for related documents. Any mandatory notifications will be made.
  3. A decision letter will be sent to you, including:
    • information about where we searched
    • what documents we found
    • any exemptions claimed
    • any charges owing.

We cannot release documents until all access charges have been paid.

If the charges are expected to be over $50, we will write to you and seek a deposit towards the charges. If cost is a factor, we can work with you to reduce the scope and the fees of your request.

How to submit your FOI request

There are three ways to submit your FOI request:


Email your request to [email protected].

Note that if the application fee has not been paid or waived, the application is not valid. The statutory timeframe to make a decision has not yet started.


FOI applications can be submitted at the Civic Centre during business hours.

Address: 511 Burwood Highway, Wantirna South, VIC 3152

By mail

Address your application to:

Freedom of Information Officer, Knox City Council, 511 Burwood Highway, Wantirna South, Vic 3152.

Timing for our decision

We have 30 days to notify you of our decision on your request. This time starts from when we receive a valid request.

If we need to consult a third party, we may extend the deciding period. This extension can be up to 15 calendar days.

We will let you know in writing if we need to consult a third party.

We will also tell you the new statutory due date.

The 30-day timeframe for processing begins again when your deposit is paid.

Documents not covered by the Act

Many documents are available outside the conditions of the Act.

We recommend speaking to us here at Council before making an official request.

Note that any records that you can get for a fee or as part of a public register are not available under the Act.

If you need documents for a court hearing, speak to your legal adviser. There are other ways you can get access to that information.

Refused access

The FOI Act does allow us to refuse access to certain documents.

We can:

  • refuse to give you access to the whole document
  • give you access to the document with all the privileged information removed.

If this happens we must inform the Victorian Information Commissioner why we cannot complete your request.

Need help?

Contact us and we will get back to you.

Or call our Freedom of Information Officer on 9298 8000.

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