Freedom of Information gives the public a legally enforceable right to access government documents, subject to some limitations.

In Western Australia, under the Freedom of Information Act 1992 (FOI Act), the right applies to local governments, including Shire of Mundaring. Documents available under the FOI Act include paper records, plans and drawings, photographs, tape recordings, films, videotapes, or information stored in a computerised form.

An applicant's right to seek access cannot be affected by their reasons for wishing to obtain access and there is no requirement to demonstrate such reasons.

You can apply for any record of information held by the Shire.

The Shire is required to:

  • Assist you with making an application
  • Assist you in obtaining access to documents at a reasonable cost
  • Ensure that personal information captured in documents is accurate, complete, up-to-date and not misleading.

Making a Freedom of Information application

Requests for information will, if appropriate, be considered in accordance with the FOI Act. Under this legislation, an application fee must be forwarded with the request in writing.

To make a FOI application, you can complete the FOI Application Form (see below), or apply in writing.

Access applications must:

  • Be in writing
  • Give enough information so that the documents requested can be identified
  • Give an Australian address to which notices can be sent
  • Be lodged with the Shire with any applicable fee payable

Proof of identity may be required. If access to documents is sought on behalf of another person, the Shire will require written authorisation.

The application is considered as officially lodged when the application fee has been paid and both parties agree on a manageable scope.

Freedom of Information Application Form 

Freedom of Information Statement

To assist potential application, an Information Statement has been published as required under section 96(1) of the FOI Act. It details information made available to the public outside of the FOI Act and includes information regarding the Shire's vision, structure, decision making functions and legislation administered, as well as documents held by the Shire. 

Freedom of Information Statement 


The Shire is required to provide the applicant with an estimated cost should the charges for dealing with the application exceed $25.00.

An advance deposit of 25% of the estimated cost may be required as a sign of good faith that full payment will be provided once the Notice of Decision is issued. This is in accordance with Section 6 of the Freedom of Information Regulations 1993.

For financially disadvantaged applicants or those issued with prescribed pensioner concession cards, the charge payable is reduced by 25% or may be waived in certain circumstances.

Processing time and notice of decision

Applicants will be given a written notice of decision as soon as practicable and within the permitted period. The permitted period is within 45 days from the Shire receiving the application and fee or within a period as is agreed between the Shire and the applicant.

The Notice of Decision includes the following information:

  • The date when the decision was made
  • The name and designation of the employee who made the decision
  • The reason why a document is considered exempt or why access is given to an edited document
  • Information on the right of review and the procedures to be followed to exercise those rights.

Reasons for refusal to provide access to information

The FOI Act provides a general right of access to documents, subject to some limitations. This is applied to documents that meet the exemption criteria in Schedule 1 of the Act. The most common reasons for refusal to provide access to information are:

Personal information

​Information that would reveal personal information about an individual (such as their name, contact details, signature etc) may be exempt under Clause 3.

​Commercial or business information

 Information that:

  • Could reveal trade secrets
  • Has a commercial value (such as documents containing technical designs that, if released, would harm the company)
  • Contains details about the professional, commercial or financial affairs of a person that may be exempt under Clause 4.

​Deliberative processes

​Material which forms part of the decision-making of the local government, when circumstances require confidentiality of those deliberations, may be exempt under Clause 6.

​Legal professional privilege

​Protects the confidentiality of communications made between a lawyer and their client. The privilege belongs to the client and may only be waived by the client. Clause 7.

Review Process

The FOI Act provides for a review and appeal process.

Internal Review

If dissatisfied with the Shire's decision, an application for an internal review can be lodged. Internal review applications must be in writing and lodged with the Shire within thirty days of being notified of the original decision. There is no charge for an internal review.

External Review

If still dissatisfied with the Shire's decision after the internal review has been completed, a review by the Information Commissioner can be sought. External review requests must be made in writing to the Information Commissioner and give details of the application and decision to which the request relates.

More information and contacts

For advice and further information about Freedom of Information and the types of documents held by the Shire, please contact us.

For general information and advice on Freedom of Information you can also contact the Office of the Information Commissioner.

See also: Freedom of Information Act 1992 (WA)

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