Key published decisions applying schedule 3, section 10(1)(g) RTI Act
The applicant sought access to compliance notices, cautions, enforceable undertakings, fines or prosecutions issued to amusement ride, fun park or other mobile show operators in Queensland for a specified period. The Department of Justice and Attorney-General (Department) refused access to the names of the amusement rides and owners, including their Australian business numbers, on the basis that disclosing the relevant information would, on balance, be contrary to the public interest under sections 47(3)(b) and 49 of the RTI Act. On external review, the Department also submitted that disclosing the relevant information could reasonably be expected to prejudice:
- the maintenance or enforcement of a lawful method or procedure for protecting public safety; or
- a system or procedure for protecting persons, property or the environment.
Is there an identifiable lawful method or procedure for protecting public safety?
On the basis that the voluntary process (of cooperation and consultation between WHSQ, the
amusement device operators and other stakeholders in the industry) was aimed at improving the safety of persons who use amusement devices and achieving industry best practice above the minimum standards legislated by the Workplace Health and Safety Act 1995 (Qld), the RTI Commissioner was satisfied that the first requirement for exemption was met. [25-26]
Is there a reasonable expectation that disclosing the relevant information could prejudice the maintenance or enforcement of the method or procedure?
The RTI Commissioner was satisfied ‘prejudice’ should be given its ordinary and natural meaning; that is ‘to detrimentally impact’. 
The Department and some amusement device operators submitted that disclosure of the relevant information could reasonably be expected to: 
- damage the relationship between WHSQ and operators; and
- prejudice the voluntary process.
The RTI Commissioner was not satisfied that the operators’ and Department’s expectation of prejudice was reasonably based because the operators recognised it was in their commercial interest to operate safe rides and the voluntary process facilitates safety improvements. Further, given the mandatory legislative scheme under which the notices were issued, it would be unreasonable to suggest that disclosing the relevant information would prejudice the voluntary process. [36-37]
Accordingly, the relevant information was not exempt under schedule 3, section 10(1)(g) of the RTI Act.
Last updated: May 8, 2013