24 Making access application

(1) A person who wishes to be given access to a document of an agency or a document of a Minister under this Act may apply to the agency or Minister for access to the document.


1 Minister is defined to include an Assistant Minister—see schedule 5.
2 Section 25 provides for access applications by parents for children and section 190 clarifies the powers of those acting for others.
3 For an application made for a person, the person (and not the agent) is the applicant—see schedule 5, definition applicant. This may be particularly relevant for section 66 (Applicant under financial hardship).

(2) The application must—

(a) be in the approved form and be accompanied by the application fee; and

(b) give sufficient information concerning the document to enable a responsible officer of the agency or the Minister to identify the document; and

(c) state an address to which notices under this Act may be sent to the applicant; and

(d) state whether access to the document is sought for the benefit of, or use of the document by—

(i) the applicant; or
(ii) another entity; and

Example for paragraph (d)(ii)—

A journalist makes an access application for a document for use of the document by an electronic or print media organisation.

(e) if access to the document is sought for the benefit of, or use of the document by, an entity other than the applicant—the name of the other entity.

(3) Also, if the application is for access to a document containing personal information of the applicant, the applicant must provide with the application or within 10 business days after making the application—

(a) evidence of identity for the applicant; and

(b) if an agent is acting for the applicant—evidence of the agent's authorisation and evidence of identity for the agent.

Examples of an agent's authorisation—

  • the will or court order appointing the agent to act as the applicant's guardian
  • the client agreement authorising a legal practitioner to act for an applicant
  • if the application is made in reliance on section 25, evidence the agent is the child’s parent

(4) The application fee mentioned in subsection (2)(a) may not be waived.


However, an application fee must be refunded if a deemed decision is made—see section 46(1).

(5) In this section—

evidence of identity means the evidence of identity prescribed under a regulation.