Curtin and Pine Rivers Shire Council
(1997 L0014, 18 December 1997)
This case illustrates the distinction between an individual's 'personal affairs' and 'business affairs'. The Information Commissioner found that names and motor vehicle registration numbers of licensed itinerant food vendors, appearing in a Council register, did not comprise information concerning the personal affairs of those licensees, for the purposes of the s.44(1) exemption in the FOI Act.
The Information Commissioner also found that the matter in issue was not exempt under s.42(1)(g) of the FOI Act as was not satisfied that there was any reasonable basis for expecting that disclosure of the matter in issue could endanger the security of a vehicle. In addition, the Information Commissioner was not satisfied that the matter in issue had a 'commercial value' to any third parties so as to attract the application of s.45(1)(b) of the FOI Act, nor that disclosure of the matter in issue could reasonably be expected to have an adverse effect on the business affairs of the licensees, or to prejudice the future supply of like information to government, as required by s.45(1)(c) of the FOI Act.
Moreover, the Information Commissioner observed that it was difficult to see how it could serve the purposes of having a regulatory scheme (like the one in question) for the benefit and protection of the public, if basic information as to who was, and who was not, licensed to provide services to the public, under that regulatory scheme, were not available to any interested member of the public.