Associated Meat Exports Pty Ltd and Queensland Livestock & Meat Authority

Application number:
1997 S0116
Decision date:
Monday, Aug 17, 1998

Associated Meat Exports Pty Ltd and Queensland Abattoir Corporation
(1997 S0115, 17 August 1998) 

Associated Meat Exports Pty Ltd and Queensland Livestock & Meat Authority
(1997 S0116, 17 August 1998) 

The Information Commissioner found that certain records of communications between the Queensland Livestock and Meat Authority (the QLMA) and its solicitor(s) satisfied the legal tests to attract legal professional privilege, and hence exemption under s.43(1) of the FOI Act. 

Applying the principles explained in Cannon and Australian Quality Egg Farms Limited (1994) 1 QAR 491, the Information Commissioner found that parts of a QLMA briefing note concerning a slaughter agreement, operational difficulties and costings, and part of a QLMA document concerning the cessation of AME's slaughtering operations, comprised exempt matter under s.45(1)(c) of the FOI Act.

However, the Information Commissioner rejected claims for exemption by the QLMA for other segments of information, because the Information Commissioner could see no reasonable basis for expecting prejudice to its business or commercial affairs, under s.45(1)(c), and no prejudice to the public interest under s.41(1) of the FOI Act.

Applying the principles applicable to 'sufficiency of search' cases, as explained in Shepherd and Department of Housing, Local Government and Planning (1994) 1 QAR 464 at pp.469-470, the Information Commissioner found that there were no reasonable grounds for believing that additional documents falling within the terms of the relevant access applications, existed in the possession or control of the QLMA or the Queensland Abattoir Corporation.