Right to Information

Queensland Government

On 1 July 2009 the Right to Information Act 2009 (PDF) (RTI Act) and the Information Privacy Act 2009 (PDF) (IP Act), replaced the Freedom of Information Act 1992.

These laws where information isn’t already available you can access information through Right to Information (RTI) or Information Privacy (IP) applications:

  • Make more information held by the Government available
  • Provide equal access to it across all sectors of the community
  • Provide appropriate protection for individuals’ privacy

Council has a policy on the right to information as per the Right to Information Act 2009 and the Information Privacy Act 2009.
The policy can be found here.

The Queensland Government website on information can be found here.

Accessing information

Held by Council

Kowanyama Aboriginal Shire Council collects and stores personal and general information about the region, properties, our services, projects, community interests, libraries, even animals. Documents held by us include paper files, microfiche, printouts, computer records, files, visual material, CCTV, and audio recordings. 

The Right to Information Act 2009 (RTI Act) and the Information Privacy Act 2009 (IP Act) recognises that there should be an increased flow of information in the government’s

possession to the community and encourages government to make as much information available while maintaining the appropriate levels of privacy and confidentiality. 

We take an approach of openness, accountability, and transparency, balanced with appropriate protection for certain information, including personal information. In practice, this means that information will be released unless, on balance, its release is contrary to public interest. 

Administrative Access Applications

Kowanyama Aboriginal Shire Council administratively releases information to the public in various ways. Sometimes however it is important and efficient to release information to applicants without the need for a full Right to Information (RTI) or Information Privacy (IP) Application. Administrative access applications are ad hoc requests for a Council document or part of a document. An Administrative Access Request must be referred to the relevant Governance Officer for consideration. The administrative release of information is to be in accordance with open and transparent governance and reduces the need for a formal RTI Access Application. 

RTI Access Application

If a Council document is not publicly available, or available through an Administrative Access Request, an individual can make a formal application to Council to access a Council document under the provisions of the RTI Act.

An RTI access application must:

  • Be in the approved form and accompanied by the prescribed application fee ($53.90)
  • Give sufficient information to enable the identification of the documents requested
  • State an address where notices issued under the RTI Act or IP Act are to be sent

The RTI access application applies only to documents that are, or may be, in existence on the day the application is received. RTI application forms are available from Council’s website, at Council’s Offices or by requesting a copy to be posted.

The RTI Act provides Council with 25 business days, from Council’s receipt of the application, to receive a decision. At any time before the processing period expires, Council may ask the applicant for an extension of the processing period with a view to making a considered decision.

Publication Scheme

The RTI Act requires Council to publish a list of information on its website that is routinely available to residents, known as a ‘Publication Scheme.’ 

Class of Information Required Information Provided by Council
About Us Information about who we are and what we do
  • About Kowanyama Aboriginal Shire Council
  • Council contact details and locations
  • Mayor and Councillors
  • Making a Complaint
Council Services Information about the services Council offers
  • Essential Services
  • News and public notices
  • Publications and reports
  • Online services and payments
  • Local fare scheme
Council’s Finances Information on what and how Council spends funds
  • Budget and financial documents
  • Fees and charges
  • Annual reports
  • Tendering to Council
Council’s Priorities Information on what Council’s priorities are and how they are measured
  • Master Planning Report
  • Corporate Plan
  • Operational Plan
  • Planning Scheme
  • Projects
Council’s Decisions Information on Council’s proposals and decisions
  • Local laws
  • Council Meeting Minutes
  • Council Meeting Agendas
  • Community Meetings
Council’s Policies Information on policies within our Statutory, Operational, Financial and Governance framework
  • Policies are listed on Council website
Council’s Lists Information on Council’s lists and registers
  • Councillor Conduct Register
  • Contracts Register
  • Register of Interests.

Charges for Information

There is no charge for examining any publication scheme information contained on our website. However, there may be a charge if a large volume of printed material is required. You will be told about any photocopying charges at the time of your request.

The cover price will be charged for any publications produced by Council for sale. Charges will be kept under review and there is no intention to charge for material that has previously been available for free.

Making an Application

If the information an applicant is seeking is not available through our routine releases an applicant can submit an RTI or IP application. Applications must be made by completing the RTI Application Form or Information Provacy Personal Information Amendment Form and provide sufficient information to correctly identify the information being requested.

Information Privacy applications must provide certified identification of the applicant, e.g., driver’s licence, birth certificate etc. within 10 business days of lodging the application. Council’s Governance Officer will determine if the information or document requested is available under the provisions of the relevant legislation.

You will be given notices outlining:

  • What documents are available
  • What the classification of those documents are including if they contain your personal information
  • What the estimated charge may be (a Charges Estimate Notice)
  • Your ability to consult with Council to amend the application to reduce the charge
  • The final process including 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.

Fees and Charges

Right to Information Application Fee Each $53.90
Processing Charge 15 minutes or Part Thereof $8.35
Access Charge for Right to Information and Information Privacy Photocopying Charges (A4 Black and White Photocopy) Per Page $0.25

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 made completing the Information Privacy Personal Information Amendment Form and identify what information you claim is inaccurate, incomplete, out of date or misleading. The application should also state the amendments necessary for the information to be accurate.

Lodging and Payment

By Post:
Attention: Chief Executive Officer, Kowanyama Aboriginal Shire Council
PO Box 769, Bungalow QLD 4870
By Email:
Attention: Governance Team, governance@kowanyama.qld.gov.au
In Person:

Cairns Office:

L1, 50 Scott Street, Bungalow QLD 4870
Monday – Thursday: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Friday: 8:00 AM – 12:15 PM

Kowanyama Office:

Lot 30 Chapman Road, Kowanyama QLD 4892
Monday – Thursday: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Friday: 8:00 AM – 12:15 PM

Payments can be made via the following:
  • Cheque – crossed, marked ‘not negotiable’ and payable to Kowanyama Aboriginal Shire Council
  • Eftpos and Credit Card payment
  • Cash (do not send through mail) – Only available at Cairns Office
  • Notice to pay

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 such consultation.

Disclosure Log

Kowanyama Aboriginal Shire Council provides access to documents released following a decision pursuant to the Right to Information Act 2009. The Disclosure Log contains a summary of the documents released including a brief description, release type and number of pages. Please note that documents containing personal information will not be provided.

Should you wish to access any of the information contained within these disclosures, please contact Governance Team on 07 4040 4510.

Kowanyama Aboriginal Shire Council Disclosure Log 2022-23

Appeal Process

The Decision Maker will provide to the applicant with a decision notice outlining the matters considered as part of their application including the reasons to fully release the documents, not to release documents, to give only partial access to documents, or to refuse to amend personal information.

The applicant can request an internal review, which will be undertaken by an internal review officer within Council.

The application for internal review must

  • be in writing;
  • state an address to which notices may be sent to the applicant for internal review;
  • be made within 20 business days after the date of the written notice of the decision; and
  • be lodged at an office of the Council.

The applicant can also request an external review, which will be undertaken by the Queensland Information Commissioner.

The application for external review must:

  • be in writing;
  • state an address to which notices may be sent to the applicant for external review;
  • give details of the decision for review;
  • be made within 20 business days from the date of the written notice of the decision; and
  • be lodged with the Queensland Information Commissioner.