Roue and Moreton Bay Regional Council
(310211, 24 February 2011)
Section 47(3)(b) RTI Act – Grounds on which access may be refused
Section 49 RTI Act – Contrary to public interest
The original access applicants sought documents from Moreton Bay Regional Council (MBRC) in relation to the removal of a retaining wall on an adjoining property. MBRC located relevant documents and consulted with third parties prior to deciding that all documents could be released to the original access applicants.
The third parties objected to release of the documents based on privacy concerns.
On internal review, MBRC decided that it would be contrary to the public interest to give access to some information including the third parties’:
· personal email addresses
· telephone numbers, and
· residential address and post office box number.
On external review, the third parties questioned the scope of the original access application and maintained their objection to release of any information based on privacy concerns.
Taking into account the evidence available, relevant legislation, case law and the parties’ submissions, Right to Information Commissioner Mead was satisfied that:
· disclosure of certain personal information would, on balance, be contrary to the public interest (including the first names of the third parties, their personal contact details and a statement of a sensitive and personal nature)
· access to this personal information can be refused under sections 47(3)(b) and 49 of the RTI Act, and
· the remaining information should be released.