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.
As a State-owned company, Tasmanian Railway Pty Ltd (TasRail) 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; and
- Provides that access to information held by government bodies is restricted in only limited circumstances which are defined in the Act
How do I get access to information?
Some information is not released in this way, either because it is not of general public interest or because it is information that TasRail would need to assess against the exemptions in the RTI Act prior to disclosure.
You may find information relating to TasRail in one of the following ways:
Direct from TasRail:
- Search TasRail’s website at http://www.tasrail.com.au
- Annual Reports – these are available on our website or able to be provided in hard copy form by request
- TasRail’s publications including brochures, newsletters and media releases which are available on our website or able to be provided in hard copy form by request
- Email your information request to TasRail via our website
- Speak to a TasRail representative by calling 1300 TasRail (please select Option 4)
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. You can search the TAHO system at www.archives.tas.gov.au/database
- Email your information request to TAHO on firstname.lastname@example.org
- Speak to a TAHO representative by calling (03) 6233 7488
If you cannot find the information via one of the above direct means, please contact TasRail and we may be able to provide it to you, 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 assessed disclosure.
How do I make a Right to Information Application for an assessed disclosure?
An 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 this website. Select this link and print.
If you do not use the form provided, please note that your application must be made in writing and include the same information as is required in the request form. This is a requirement of Regulation 4 of the Right to Information Regulations 2010.
Applications for TasRail are to be addressed and sent to:
Right to Information Officer
P O Box 335
KINGS MEADOWS 7249
Or email: email@example.com
Please 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 Application Fee
All RTI Applications are subject to an application fee. Traditionally this is indexed annually in accordance with the provisions of the RTI Act. However, as part of the Tasmanian Government's Social and Economic Support Package to assist households and businesses to cope with the impacts of the COVID-19 disease emergency, released on 26 March 2020, all fees and charges that are subject to the Fee Units Act 1997 will remain at 2019-20 values for the 2020-21 financial year.
Therefore the fee for RTI applications remains at $40.50 for this financial year. Upfront payment of the fee is required when you lodge your application.
The application fee may be reduced or waived in certain circumstances, including 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 interest or benefit.
If you make an application for a reduction or waiver of the fee for any of these reasons, it is a requirement that you provide supporting evidence.
What if my Right to Information Application is rejected?
If your RTI Application, or any part of it, is refused, the reasons for the refusal to provide that information must be provided as part of the decision, together with details on your rights to seek a review of that decision by TasRail’s Principal Officer. This is done by writing to:
The Chief Executive Officer and Principal Officer Right to Information Act (2009)
P O Box 335
KINGS MEADOWS 7249
Or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
If either the Designated Responsible Officer or the Responsible Officer assessing your request does not respond to you within the timeframes allowed, TasRail is taken to have refused the application. In these circumstances, you are able to make an application for review to the Ombudsman if you choose.
Information on reviews by the Ombudsman under the RTI Act is available on the website of the Office of the Ombudsman www.ombudsman.tas.gov.au
Further information on the RTA Act is available via the following links:
Right to Information Act 2009
Right to Information Act 2009 Manual and Guidelines