Right to Information
Townsville City Council collects and stores information about the region, properties, land, individuals, even animals. New legislation supports your access to much of this information, while maintaining appropriate access restrictions for personal or confidential information.
The Right to Information Act 2009 and the Information Privacy Act 2009 aims 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 (RTI) gives you the right to access and amend information held by public sector agencies in Queensland, unless there is a good reason for it not to be provided. You have a right to access and amend your personal information held by council under the Information Privacy Act 2009 (IP). You have a right to access personal and non-personal information held by council under the Right to Information Act 2009.
Under the Right to Information Act 2009 any person has the right of access to most documents held by us. Documents held by us include paper files, microfiche, print-outs, computer records, files, visual material, and audio recordings.
The RTI Act requires Council to publish a list of information on its website that is routinely available to residents, known as a 'publications scheme.'
Information on the current publication scheme is available here.
Making an Application
Applications must be made by completing the attached application form. Information Privacy applications must provide sufficient information to enable the identification of the documents requested as well as certified identification of the applicant, e.g. driver's licence, birth certificate etc. within 10 business days of lodging the application. Council's RTI Officer will determine if the information or document requested is available under the provisions of the Right to Information Act 2009.
Applications relating to 'personal information' do not require an application fee.
You will be given notices outlining:
- That you are required to pay a charge
- What the estimated charge may be
- What the basis is for calculating the estimate
- That you can consult with the agency to amend the application in order to reduce the charge
- That you must agree in writing to pay the application charge, withdraw or request waiver of charges on the grounds of financial hardship.
Council has 25 business days in which to provide applicants with a decision regarding access for information. There are some factors that can alter this limit as per S.69 of the Act.
Applying for Right to Information (RTI) is a last resort to gain access to documents from council. Please contact the RTI Officer before lodging an application to see if access to the documentation can be accessed administratively.
- RTI Application Form (PDF, 191.2 KB)
- Information Privacy Personal Information Amendment Form (PDF, 128.4 KB)
Fees and Charges as at 1 July 2018
|Right to Information Application Fee||Each||$49.70|
More than 5 hours processing the application
|15 minutes or part thereof||$7.70|
For Right to Information and Information Privacy photocopying charges (A4 black and white photocopy)
Third Party Consultation
If the documents requested contain information which may reasonably be expected to be of concern to a government, agency or relevant third party then the documents may not be released until consultation with the third party occurs. Should consultation be required, a further 10 business days is added onto the timeframe to allow for this.
Lodgement and Payment
PLEASE NOTE: A payment processing fee applies to credit card payments. The rate is 0.5% of the payment amount for Visa and MasterCard. Exemptions may apply. AMEX and Diners Club are no longer accepted.
Applications can be submitted in the following methods:
|Attention to: Right to Information Legal Services|
Customer Service Centre located at:
Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5pm
Customer Service Point located at:
Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm
Payment can be made in the following forms:
- Cheque - crossed, marked 'not negotiable' and payable to Townsville City Council
- Eftpos and Credit Card payment
- Cash (do not send through mail) *Not available at CityLibraries Thuringowa
Information Privacy Amendments
A person may apply to council for an amendment of information relating to their personal information that they claim is inaccurate, incomplete, out of date or misleading.
An application for an amendment of information must be done with the application form for Information privacy amendment and identify what information they claim is inaccurate, incomplete, out of date or misleading. The application should also state the amendments necessary for the information to be accurate.
CCTV and Information Privacy
Council has camera surveillance systems across the City, and the below document outlines their purpose. The community can apply for access to the surveillance footage through a Right to Information application.
If you are unhappy with a decision on your application, you have a right to ask for an internal review except where the decision is made by the Principal Officer of Townsville City Council.
If you are not satisfied with the internal decision by council you may apply for internal review or external review to the Information Commissioner.