Information and Privacy
We are committed to open and transparent access to information about our activities, services and business operations.
The Right to Information Act 2009 is the Queensland Government's approach to ensure that the community is provided with greater access to information held by government agencies – unless on balance it is contrary to the public interest to provide that information. The Right to Information Act 2009 replaces the Freedom of Information Act 1992.
The Information Privacy Act 2009 is a formal means of requesting access to and amendment of your personal information, if you believe it to be incorrect, misleading or out of date.
Formal access applications under Right to Information Act or Information Privacy Act should only be made as a last resort, where information is not otherwise accessible.
The Right to Information Act and the Information Privacy Act aims to:
- make more information available
- provide equal access to information across all sectors of the community
- provide appropriate protection for individuals' privacy
How do I access information?
Consider an Administrative Action Review
Before you make a Right to Information or Information Privacy application, you should consider an Administrative Action Review. You can find information regarding this process on our Customer Service and Feedback page.
How to make a Right to Information application
Please complete an application form and lodge, along with your payment of the necessary fee, either:
- In person at our Customer Service Centres (provide original ID)
- By post (Right to Information Review Officer, PO Box 104, PROSERPINE Qld 4800)
Please note that you will be required to provide proof of identity with your application, either in person or by including a certified copy of your driver's licence if you are posting your application.
All applications must clearly identify the specific documents requested and include a return address for notices of the Act to be sent to the applicant.
Payment of Right to Information fee must be paid at time of application, and processing and access charges may also apply. Fees and charges are determined under legislation by the Office of the Information Commissioner.
The Acts requires that your application be made in writing. You may use an official application form which is available at RTI Queensland Government website.
Please remember complainant details (name, address, etc.) are generally not released.
Limitations on access
Please be aware there are exemptions which may apply to applications for access to information held by us, for example that involve operational and investigation documents. This does not mean that an application to access such information cannot be made. To obtain access to documents relating to a particular investigation, the documents must consist of information about the applicant and the investigation must be finalised. It is possible that parties not involved in an investigation may not be able to access investigation files.
What is considered a ‘Document’ under the Acts?
For the purposes of the Right to Information Act and Information Privacy Act, the term "document" includes files, computer printouts, maps, plans, photographs, tape recordings, films or videotapes and other means of storing information, no matter how old or recent.
Can I see all documents?
Some documents are exempt under these Acts to protect essential public interests or the personal or business information of others. Sometimes part of a document may not be available if it contains information which is exempt (e.g. name and address of complainant/s).
If you are refused access to a document or given partial access only, we must give you written reasons for the decision and tell you of your rights of appeal.
What are ‘personal information’ documents?
Personal information documents include information on any matter of personal or private concern to an individual such as medical records, family or domestic relationships, income, assets and financial records.
When you want to see documents containing information about your own personal information, you will have to show proof of identity.
How much will it cost to lodge an application?
There is no application fee to look at documents about your personal information. You can also ask for a free copy of these documents (available via CD or email only). If you require a hard copy of your personal information documents, there will be additional photocopying charges. Charges are determined under legislation by the Office of the Information Commissioner.
However, there is a fee for non-personal applications, (go to the Queensland Government website for current fees) and other charges for making photocopies, plus special rates for other means of information storage (e.g. video). If the time taken to process your application exceeds five hours, there may be additional charges. Charges are determined under legislation by the Office of the Information Commissioner.
Queensland has privacy legislation that applies to the Queensland public sector - the Information Privacy Act 2009. The Act contains privacy principles that set out how agencies may and must handle personal information. Personal information means any information about an identifiable person. Our Privacy Notice refers to details of the types of personal information that we hold and how we handle this information.
Website Privacy and Security Statement
We are committed to protecting the privacy of our website users. We understand and appreciate that visitors to and users of this website are concerned about their privacy and the confidentiality and security of information that they provide to us.
Generally, we do not collect information that can directly identify you when you visit our site. When you visit our site to read or download information, our measurement tool and Internet Services Providers record the following information only for our statistical purposes:
- your server and IP address
- the name of the top level domain (for example, .gov, .com, .edu, .au)
- the type of browser used
- the date and time that you accessed the site
- the pages accessed and documents downloaded
- the previous site that you visited
These statistics provide information to assist us to make improvements to the content and structure of our website. We collect personal information via online forms or by email communications for the purposes of, for example:
- Subscriptions to electronic mailing lists and RSS feeds
- Subscriptions to calendar alerts
- Subscriptions to weather and disaster event alerts
- Notification of tenders and requests for quotes
Your email address details will not be added to a mailing list nor will we disclose these details to third parties without your consent, unless required by law. Email messages may be monitored by our information technology staff for system trouble-shooting and maintenance purposes.
Cookies are text files that a website can transfer to your computer when you access information on that site. Cookies allow websites to recognise you as you browse their website. We use Google Analytics to gather statistics about how their website is accessed.
The information generated by the cookie about your use of the website will be transmitted to and stored by Google on servers located outside Australia. No personally identifying information is recorded or provided to Google.
Information gathered using Google Analytics cookie is used for the purpose of determining:
- the number of visitors to our website
- how visitors arrive at our website, for example: did they type the address directly in, follow a link from another webpage or arrive via a search engine?
- the number of times each page is viewed and for how long
- time and date of visits
- geographical location of visitors
- information about what browsers are used to view our website and the operating system of the computers or devices
- whether these browsers support Java and Flash
- the speed of the user's internet connection
This information is used to refine and improve our online service delivery and in turn the community's online experience.
Email correspondence, blog comments and information provided via web forms can constitute public records and can be retained as required by the Public Records Act 2002 and other relevant legislation.
Use and Disclosure
Council will only use personal information collected via our website for the purposes for which it was given to us and/or for related, internal management purposes. Council does not disclose your personal information to other government agencies or organisations. Go to our Privacy Notice for further information
We take strong precautions to protect the personal information that we hold concerning you from loss, unauthorised access, use, modification or disclosure and against other misuse. However, please be aware that we do not provide a mechanism for securing the transmission of information across the Internet. This website contains links to other websites. We are not responsible for the content and privacy practices of other websites.
Collection and use of personal information
We are authorised or required under various legislation to collect your personal information, so that we can use it for the following purposes:
- to review and consider any applications or submissions you have submitted to council (for example, development and building applications, applications for food or entertainment permits)
- to process any council-related payments or transactions which you make with us (for example, payment of your council rates), and to identify you and protect you from unauthorised access to your personal or council account information
- to carry out any council inspections (for example, building inspections and food or health inspections)
- to facilitate and organise Civic and council's community, cultural, corporate, local, national and international events, functions, forums and programs (including citizenship, prizes and awards ceremonies), and where necessary to check your eligibility and record your attendance at such events
- to inform you of council and local news and developments or to notify you of council-related developments or events which you have requested to be notified of (for example, council newsletters and notices)
- to assess your eligibility to be a council volunteer, and to administer and coordinate council's volunteer programs and to communicate with our volunteers
- to protect your safety, security and wellbeing at council-controlled venues, events, functions, forums and programs to answer any search requests submitted by a member of the public for publicly available information (for example, property-related searches)
- to register your pets and animals
- to respond to any communications and correspondence you send to us (which includes answering any queries, and dealing with any feedback or complaints you have)
- if you are a council employee or have applied for employment at council - to process your employment application, and to process any employment related tasks at any time (for example, to verify employment related matters and information, grant you building and IT access, to manage your salary arrangements)
- to investigate any complaints lodged by you in connection with council, its employees, or its functions and activities
- to provide you with any council information, services or products you have requested or are designed to better serve or promote Whitsunday Regional Council
- to assist us to determine your needs and requirements to enable us to provide you with the appropriate council services and information you have requested (for example, to direct your call or enquiry to the relevant council department who can assist you)
- to maintain any council information databases, records or registers including those that we are required under Federal or State legislation to maintain
- to administer and enforce any legislation which council is required to administer and enforce
- to verify any information you have provided to us
- to get in touch with you should we need to
- to take any other further action which we are required or authorised by law to take, including any investigative, enforcement and recovery action
The kinds of personal information we collect may include:
- residential address
- postal address
- date of birth
- telephone numbers
- email address
- photo and video images (for example, from security cameras at council-controlled venues)
- addresses of your property whether owned or leased by you
- credit card information
- bank account details
- driver licence details
- passport details
- details of your eligibility for child related employment (for example details of your "blue card" and related correspondence) whether as employee, volunteer or otherwise
- your vehicle description and registration details
- details of your assets and liabilities, property(ies), your and your invitees' interactions with the council (including council officers, application forms, decisions by the council and enforcement actions by the council affecting you, your property(ies) or your invitee(s)
- details of any pets or animals owned by you or registered in your name and any of your interactions with the council regarding such pets or animals
- if you have requested council to provide you with certain health-related services (for example, under council's immunisation, Home Assist or Steps to Success programs) - medical history, employment history, educational qualifications, family history, assets and liabilities
- copies of correspondence exchanged between council and you, including council records of any interactions council has had with you
- if you are a council employee - your council employee ID, employee file, payroll number and your tax file number
As far as possible, we will collect personal information directly from you (for example, during personal meetings, phone conversations, from the council's website or social media or during council's interactions with you including by correspondence or when considering your enquiries, complaints or applications). However, in certain circumstances, we may collect your personal information from a third party, for example:
- if you are a minor - your parents or guardian
- other Government departments and bodies (for example, the Department of Communities)
- your current or former employer (for example, to obtain a reference check if you are applying for employment with the council)
- Council and other databases (for example, to obtain information about your properties in the event of any enforcement action)
Our publication scheme describes and categorises information routinely available from the Council. It has been developed to give the community greater access to information held by Whitsunday Regional Council.
Accessing this information
Where possible these documents are available for you to download. Some PDF versions of scanned documents may not be readable by accessibility devices such as screen readers. If you're having difficulty accessing any of these documents, contact us and we will provide the information in a suitable format.
Information listed in our Publication Scheme is available free of charge from our website. We will endeavour to meet all reasonable requests for documents in an alternative format (e.g. hard copy, USB memory stick or CD). You will be advised in advance of any charges that may be payable if your request is for a large volume of material.
Our disclosure log provides access to documents released in response to information requests made under the Right to Information Act 2009, where they do not contain the applicant's personal information, or are otherwise unsuitable for publication according to legislation.
Please click on the below links to download a copy of Council's disclosure logs.
Where documents have been determined suitable for release, they are provided in Portable Document Format (PDF). If a copy of the information in our disclosure log is required in an alternative format, please contact us and we will endeavour to provide it to you in a more suitable format.
Please note that where the decision-making process to delete or redact information under section 78B has resulted in blank pages, these have not been included in the disclosure log.
If you have any questions about the disclosure logs, please contact us on 1300 972 753.
Disclosure Log Documents
Disclosure Log Documents