Advice regarding the Right to Information Policy
All applications are to be sent to the Right to Information mailbox here
What is the Right to Information?
The Right to Information Act 2009 (the Act) commenced on 1 July 2010 and provides for greater access to information held by government bodies by:
- Authorising and encouraging greater routine disclosure of information held by public authorities without the need for requests or applications;
- Authorising and encouraging greater active disclosure of information held by public authorities in response to informal requests without the need for applications;
- Giving members of the public an enforceable right to information held by public authorities; and
- Providing that access to information held by government bodies is restricted in only limited circumstances which are defined in the Act.
The Tasmanian Water and Sewerage Corporation Pty Ltd, is trading as TasWater, and we are a public authority for the purposes of the Act.
Why do we have a Right to Information Act?
Section 3 of the Act includes this statement of the objects of the Act:
The object of this Act is to improve democratic government in Tasmania –
- by increasing the accountability of the executive to the people of Tasmania; and
- by increasing the ability of the people of Tasmania to participate in their governance; and
- by acknowledging that information collected by public authorities is collected for and on behalf of the people of Tasmania and is the property of the State.
This object is to be pursued by giving members of the public the right to obtain information held by public authorities and Ministers.
This object is also to be pursued by giving members of the public the right to obtain information about the operations of Government.
It is the intention of Parliament –
- that this Act be interpreted so as to further the object set out in subsection (1); and
- that discretions conferred by this Act be exercised so as to facilitate and promote, promptly and at the lowest reasonable cost, the provision of the maximum amount of official information.
How do I get access to information?
We are required by the Act to make information available to the public through a process of proactive disclosure. This means that we routinely make information available to the public if it will assist them in understanding what it is we do and how we do it. There are exemptions, for information that is determined to not be of a general public interest or because it’s exempt under the Act. We assess each application against the exemptions in the Right to Information Act 2009 prior to disclosure.
The public may get access to our information generally via our website, through publications (e.g. fact sheets, or discussion papers), via reports (e.g. our Annual Report). If you can’t locate the information via one of the means above, contact us and we may be able to assist you in finding it, or we may give it to you. If it is not freely available we will assist you to make an application for an assessed disclosure.
You may find information from TasWater, or on the history of water and sewerage in Tasmania, in one of the following ways:
Through the Tasmanian Archives and Heritage Office (TAHO)
If it is old and historical water and sewerage information it may be deposited with the Tasmanian Archives and Heritage Office.
- Have a look at the TAHO system - www.archives.tas.gov.au/database
- Call TAHO on 03 6233 7488
- Email TAHO on firstname.lastname@example.org
Through the local Council that had responsibility for water and sewerage prior to 1 July 2009
We commenced operations in July 2013, so we don’t generally hold historical information, so business, operational plans and other documents relating to water and sewerage matters before 1 July 2009 may be held by the relevant local council.
Direct from TasWater
- Look in our annual reports
- Look at our publications
- Give TasWater a call on 13 6992
- Email Right to Information mailbox by clicking here.
Applications for assessed disclosure
Applications to TasWater are to be addressed to:
Right to Information
Tasmanian Water and Sewerage Corporation Pty Ltd
Trading as TasWater
GPO Box 1393,
Hobart Tas 7001
A form to assist in making an application is available here.
- Applications for information need to be made to the department, authority or council holding the relevant information or most closely linked to the information. A webpage like this one is available for most other public authorities.
- If you are not using the form, please note that your applications must be made in writing and include the information which is requested in the form – this is a requirement of Regulation 4 of the Right to Information Regulations 2010.
- Applications are to be accompanied by the application fee of $41.25.
You may apply to have the fee waived if:
- you are impecunious;
- you are a member of parliament and the application is in connection with your official duty; or
- you are able to gives us information which shows that the information sought is intended to be used for a purpose that is of general public interest or benefit.
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 you application fee.