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Freedom of information

The Freedom of Information Act 1982 (the Act), gives you a general right to access information held by State and Local Government agencies.

The Act allows access to documents held, including those about your personal affairs.

You can request that agencies amend or delete incorrect or misleading personal information held about you.

You can request access to any documents held by Bayside City Council, but there are some exemptions under the Act.

The more common exemptions relevant to Local Government are:

  • documents affecting personal privacy (such as names, addresses, telephone numbers) - section 33(1)
  • documents relating to trade secrets (putting a commercial business at an unreasonable disadvantage) - section 34(1)
  • documents of copyright status, like plans (building, planning), drawings, photographs - section 23(3)(c)
  • documents affecting legal proceedings (legal advice or opinions) - section 32(1)
  • documents prepared for and used at a meeting closed to the general public (such as minutes, reports) - section 38A.

How to make a freedom of information request


You can make a FOI requests using our freedom of Information request form.

In person

Complete the freedom of information request form by clearly describing the document(s) being sought. You must include your name, address, contact telephone number(s) and in what form the documents are required (e.g. paper copy of inspection only). Bring the form and your non-refundable application fee of $28.90 to:

The Corporate Centre

76 Royal Avenue, Sandringham, VIC 3191

Open Monday to Friday from 8.30am–5pm


  • non-refundable application fee: $28.90
  • search and retrieval of documents: minimum $21.70 per hour
  • photocopying of documents (black and white): 20 cents per A4 page
  • supervisor inspection of documents: $5.40 per 0.25 hour or part of a 0.25 hour

Please note

  • no charges apply for requests to correct or amend your own personal information.
  • you will be notified if charges are likely to exceed $50.00.
  • a deposit of $25.00 may be required if you want to proceed with the request.

Further charges may be imposed to recover, in part, the cost of accessing the required information and for the time spent by our officers in providing information. 

If your request relates to the correction or amendment of your own personal information, you will need to specify how and why you believe the information about you is incorrect, incomplete, misleading or out of date, by providing details of the amendments that need to be made.

The application fee may be waived or reduced in certain circumstances (e.g. for applicants who hold a current health care or pension card - a photo of the relevant card must be submitted along with the FOI request form). Application fees are reviewed on 1 July each year.


Under the Act there is a 30 day timeframe from receiving a valid request to make a decision on whether to release the document(s) and 30 days to make a decision relating to the correction or amendment of personal information. Extensions to this time may be required if third party consultation is required. You will be notified in writing of this decision.

Appeal and review

When you receive a decision about your request, you will be advised of your rights to seek an internal review of the decision.