Application of section 37 RTI Act

Relevant considerations

1. Is it reasonable to expect that disclosure would be of concern to the third party?

The expectation that disclosure of the information may be 'of concern' to the relevant third party must be reasonably based. Disclosure of information may reasonably be expected to be 'of concern' to a third party for the purposes of section 37(1) if the information is important to, or has an important bearing upon, the relevant third party.

See 'Could reasonably be expected to' Annotation.

2. Has the agency or Minister taken steps that are reasonably practicable to obtain the views of the relevant third party and inform the relevant third party of disclosure under the disclosure log?

This is an objective test. What is reasonably practicable will depend on the circumstance of the case.

3. What third party objections can be considered by an agency during the third party consultation process?

A third party objection under section 37 of the RTI Act must be limited to the following:

  • whether the document is a document to which the RTI Act does not apply; or
  • whether the information is exempt information or contrary to the public interest information.

That is, section 37 does not permit a third party to object to disclosure of information in issue on the grounds that it falls outside the scope of the access application.


Hof and Rockhampton Regional Council [2015] QICmr 8 (15 April 2015)

6ZJ3HG and Department of Environment and Heritage Protection; OY76VY (Third Party) [2016] QICmr 8 (24 February 2016)

Campbell and North Burnett Regional Council; Melior Resources Incorporated (Third Party) [2016] QICmr 4 (29 January 2016)

Last updated: July 28, 2017