Mahoney and Ipswich City Council

Application number:
Decision date:
Friday, Jun 17, 2011

Mahoney and Ipswich City Council
(310275, 17 June 2011)


Section 54(5)(b) of the Information Privacy Act 2009 (Qld) (IP Act) – whether application can be made under the IP Act - section 12 of the IP Act– definition of personal information


The applicant applied to the Ipswich City Council (Council) for ‘documents relating directly or indirectly to land located at 16-22 Ipswich-Boonah Road Purga and described in the relevant period as Lot 229 on RP 202963’ (access application) under the Information Privacy Act 2009 Qld (IP Act).


Council advised the applicant that her access application should be made under the Right to Information Act 2009 (Qld) because under the IP Act she was only entitled to access documents containing her personal information.  The applicant contended that as she owned the relevant property, her application should proceed under the IP Act.


Council dealt with the application under the IP Act as if it were a request for documents relating directly to the applicant’s land, issuing a decision refusing access on the basis that the documents sought did not exist. 


The Right to Information Commissioner decided under section 54(5)(b) of the IP Act that the access application could not be made under the IP Act because the application was for access to a document other than to the extent it contains the applicant’s personal information.   In short, the information sought in the access application was not about the applicant and was therefore not her personal information.