Freedom of information

The Freedom of Information Act 1991 (the FOI Act) provides members of the public a legally enforceable right of access (subject to certain restrictions) to documents held by government.

The purpose of the FOI Act is to promote openness in government and accountability of Ministers of the Crown and other government agencies and thereby to enhance respect for the law and further the good government of the State; and to facilitate more effective participation by members of the public in the processes involved in the making and administration of laws and policies.

DEWNR fully supports the objectives and spirit of the FOI Act and is active in its endeavours to continually improve records management practices.

The FOI Act allows members of the public to:

  • request access to documents held by DEWNR
  • request the amendment of documents that contain personal information about the applicant which is incomplete, incorrect, out-of-date or misleading

A comprehensive introduction to freedom of information can be found on the State Records website. Information in relation to the documents held by DEWNR is available in DEWNR's Freedom of Information Statement.

Making an application

In accordance with the FOI Act, applications for access to documents held by an agency must:

  • be made in writing: you may choose to write a letter, email or use the FOI application form
  • specify that the application is made under the FOI Act
  • be accompanied by a $33.50 application fee (pensioners or health card holders and other financially disadvantaged applicants can apply for a reduction in fees, including the application fee). Please provide supporting evidence of your concession card with your application. If you seek a reduction in fees due to financial disadvantage, please telephone the accredited Freedom of Information Officer on (08) 8463 6625
  • specify an address in Australia to which information can be sent
  • clearly identify the documents being sought and the matter to which they pertain
  • specify whether the documents being sought contain information of a personal nature
  • specify the desired type of access to the document, such as a copy of the document or inspection of the document at an arranged location.

Applications or enquiries regarding access to documents and policies, or amendment of personal records, should be addressed to:

The Freedom of Information Officer
Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources
GPO Box 1047
Adelaide SA 5001

Or emailed to: DEWNR.FOI@sa.gov.au

For more information on how to make a Freedom of Information application please visit the State Records of South Australia website or telephone the accredited Freedom of Information Officer on (08) 8463 6625.

Fees and charges

The FOI Act provides that agencies’ can calculate fees and charges for the processing of FOI applications in relation to finding, sorting, compiling and copying documents and undertaking any consultation required under the FOI. 

For the current list of fees associated with processing FOI applications in South Australia, please refer to the Freedom of Information (Fees and Charges) Regulations 2003 or refer to the table below.

Activity item Charges (as at 1 July 2016)

Application fee

$33.50 (pensioners or health card holders and other financially disadvantaged applicants can apply for a reduction in fees, including the application fee)

Search/Retrieval/Processing

For the first 2 hours spent by the agency in dealing with the application which contains information concerning the personal affairs of the applicant

 

For ever subsequent 15 minutes so spent by the agency

 

In any other case – for every 15 minutes so spent by the agency

 

Nil charge




$12.50



$12.50

Photocopy

$0.20 per page

Written transcript of words recorded

$7.55 per page

Copy of photograph, X-ray, video tape, computer tape or computer disk

Actual cost incurred by the agency in producing the copy

Postage

Actual cost incurred by the agency in posting the documents

Internal Review Application fee $33.50 

A cheque or money order for the amount of the application fee must be forwarded to the Freedom of Information Officer when submitting an FOI application. To arrange a payment via credit card or Electronic Funds Transfer, please contact the accredited Freedom of Information Officer on telephone (08) 8463 6625.

Find out about your rights to review a determination.