Kennedy and Redland Shire Council

Application number:
2000 L0037
Decision date:
Wednesday, Jun 27, 2001

Kennedy and Redland Shire Council
(2000 L0037, 27 June 2001) 

The applicant sought access to information about a complaint to the Council which alleged that there had been unauthorised filling of swamp land on property owned by the applicant's mother on North Stradbroke Island. 

The Council refused the applicant access to the names of various third parties, including that of the author of the letter of complaint, and to the letter of complaint itself, but disclosed all other relevant matter. 

The applicant did not press his claim for access to the identities of third parties, but pursued access to the text of the letter.  Both the Council and the author of the letter objected to the disclosure of any part of the letter, on the ground that its contents would enable the applicant to identify the author. 

The Assistant Information Commissioner found that disclosure of the matter in issue would not necessarily identify the author of the letter, as anyone who wished to do so could, with a little effort, have acquired the information contained in the letter.  The Assistant Information Commissioner also found that the matter remaining in issue was not confidential information as against the applicant, who was already aware of its substance, and that the matter therefore did not qualify for exemption from disclosure to the applicant under the FOI Act.