What is the Right to Information?

The Right to Information Act 2009 (RTI Act) commenced on 1 July 2010 replacing the Freedom of Information Act and provides for greater access to information held by government bodies.

Tasmanian Ports Corporation Pty Ltd (TasPorts), as a State Owned Company, is required by the RTI Act to make information available to the public through proactive disclosure. This means we must routinely make information available, which will assist the public in understanding what we do and how we do it.

The RTI Act:

  • Authorises and encourages greater routine disclosure of information held by public authorities without the need for requests or applications
  • Authorises and encourages greater active disclosure of information held by public authorities in response to informal requests without the need for applications
  • Gives members of the public an enforceable right to information held by public authorities
  • Provides that access to information held by government bodies is restricted in only limited circumstances which are defined in the Act

How do I make a Right to Information application?

Before lodging a RTI application, prospective applicants are encouraged to directly seek access to information through mediums such as TasPorts’ website, publications and reports (e.g. our Annual Report).

A direct approach is usually a quicker and more effective avenue to obtain information that is generally available.

Some information is not released in this way, either because it is not of general public interest or because it is information TasPorts would need to assess against the exemptions in the RTI Act prior to disclosure.

You may find information relating to TasPorts in one of the following ways:

Direct from TasPorts:

  • Search TasPorts’ Website at https://www.tasports.com.au
  • Annual Reports – these are available on our website or able to be provided upon request.
  • TasPort’s publications including brochures, newsletters and media releases, which are available on our website or able to be provided upon request.
  • Email your information request to TasPorts to rti@tasports.com.au
  • Speak to a TasPorts representative by calling 1300 366 742

Through the Tasmanian Archives and Heritage Office (TAHO):

If it is old information it may have been deposited with the Tasmanian Archives and Heritage Office.

If you cannot find the information via one of these direct means, please contact TasPorts and we may be able to provide it to you or otherwise we may be able to assist in finding it. If the information is not freely available we will assist you in making an application for an assessed disclosure.


How do I make a Right to Information application for an assessed disclosure?

A RTI application for assessed disclosure must be made to the department, authority or council holding the relevant information or most closely linked to the information.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to use an RTI request form to help ensure that the necessary details are provided. A copy of the form can be obtained from any of our offices located at Devonport, Burnie, Bell Bay and Hobart and is able to be downloaded below.

If you do not use the form provided, please note that your application must be made in writing and include the information required in the request form – this is a requirement of Regulation 4 of the Right to Information Regulations 2010.

Applications for TasPorts are to be addressed and sent to:

Secretary
Right to Information
Tasmanian Ports Corporation Pty. Ltd.
PO Box 478
Devonport TAS 7310

Or email to rti@tasports.com.au

Make sure you have looked for the information before you make a formal application, because if the information is otherwise available, your application may be refused without the return of your application fee.


Right to Information fee

All RTI applications are subject to an application fee. This fee is $39.50 as at 1 July 2018 and is indexed annually in accordance with the provisions of the Act. Upfront payment of the fee is required when you lodge your application.

The application fee may be reduced or waived in certain circumstances. These circumstances include where:

  • You are in financial hardship and on income support payments;
  • You are a member of parliament and the application is in connection with your official duty; or
  • You require the information for a purpose that is of general public interest or benefit.

If you make an application for reduction or waiver of the fee for any of these reasons it is a requirement that you provide supporting evidence.


What will TasPorts do once my application is received?

TasPorts will check your application to make sure all the required information has been provided and that the application fee has been received (unless arrangements have been made to waive the fee).

TasPorts may transfer your application to another public authority if we do not believe we are best placed to provide you with the information.

Before your application is accepted, TasPorts may need to contact you to ask you about your application, this will help us to understand your request.

Once your application has been accepted, a TasPorts officer will assess your application against the Right to Information Act 2009.

You will be notified of the decision on your application in writing within 20 working days (1 month) of the application being accepted.

TasPorts may ask you to allow more time to process your request if it is complex or for a large amount of information.

The time given to complete the request will automatically extend to 40 working days (2 months) if there is a need to consult with a third party. TasPorts will advise you if this is the case.


What if my Right to Information application is rejected?

If your RTI application or part thereof is rejected, the reasons for this will be provided to you in writing along with details on your right to seek a review.

If you wish to seek a review of the decision this must be done in writing and addressed and sent to:

Secretary
Right to Information
Tasmanian Ports Corporation Pty. Ltd.
GPO Box 478
Devonport TAS 7310

If the officer assessing your request does not contact you within 20 working days (1 month) then TasPorts are taken to have refused your application. You may make an application for review to the Ombudsman if you choose. Information on how to apply for a review by the Ombudsman can be found on the Ombudsman Website.


Further Information

Further information on the RTI Act is available via the following links:


 

Right to Information Application Form

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Right to Information Application Form