Overview of Schedule 3, section 2 RTI Act

Sections 47(3)(a) and 48 of the RTI Act provide that access may be refused to a document to the extent that it comprises 'exempt information'. Schedule 3 sets out the types of information which the Parliament has considered to be 'exempt information' because its disclosure would, on balance, be contrary to public interest.

Section summary

Information brought into existence after the RTI Act commenced will be exempt if:

  • the information was brought into existence for the consideration of Cabinet
  • disclosing the information would prejudice the confidentiality of Cabinet considerations or operations; or
  • the information has been brought into existence in the course of the State's budgetary processes.

Such information remains exempt for 10 years after the date the information was most recently considered by Cabinet.

Schedule 3, section 2(2) provides that the exemption in schedule 3, section 2(1) does not apply to:

  • information brought into existence before the commencement of the section or
  • information officially published by decision of Cabinet.

Schedule 3, section 2(3) lists types of documents taken to be comprised exclusively of exempt information under section 2(1). Factual or statistical information attached to a document mentioned in schedule 3, section 2(3) is only exempt if it otherwise satisfies the requirements for Cabinet exemption.


Schedule 3, section 2 of the RTI Act is substantially different to the equivalent exemption under the repealed FOI Act. Schedule 3, section 2 of the RTI Act was drafted with the aim of making the cabinet process less secretive and to promote government accountability.1

Other relevant RTI/IP Act sections

Schedule 3, section 1 RTI Act
Schedule 3, section 1 of the RTI Act provides that section 36 of the repealed FOI Act continues to apply to cabinet information brought into existence before the commencement of the RTI Act on 1 July 2009.

  • 1 The Solomon Report observed that under section 36 of the FOI Act (repealed), Ministers could take documents into the Cabinet room for no purpose other than to guard against disclosure under the FOI Act: FOI Independent Review Panel, The Right to Information; Reviewing Queensland's Freedom of Information Act, June 2008 at page 107. [up]

Last updated: March 16, 2012