Gifford and Redland Shire Council
(210004, 29 January 2007)
Section 44(1) – personal affairs – identity of complainant
The applicant sought access to information which would reveal the identity of a person or persons who made a complaint to the Council about his use of mounted security cameras on his property. The matter in issue in this review comprised the name, address and home telephone number of that person or persons.
Assistant Commissioner Corby decided that the matter was prima facie exempt, as the fact that an individual (acting in his or her private capacity) has made a complaint to a government agency is properly to be characterised as information concerning that person’s personal affairs.
The applicant contended that the public interest balancing test weighed in favour of release of the matter in issue, as access to the matter in issue was necessary in order for him to pursue legal action against the complainant or complainants. AC Corby decided that releasing the matter in issue would not assist the applicant in the legal proceedings he intended to bring and that there were no public interest considerations sufficient to outweigh the interest in protecting the privacy of persons who choose to make complaints to government agencies. The matter in issue was exempt under section 44(1) of the FOI Act.