Smith and North Queensland Electricity Board
(1993 S0081, 4 June 1996)
The documents in issue related to the supply of electricity to an airpark operated by the applicant. The Information Commissioner found that the applicant was required to pay a $30 application fee and appropriate photocopying charges, as some of the documents falling within the terms of his initial FOI access application did not concern his personal affairs.
The Information Commissioner determined that a number of documents relating to the business, commercial or financial affairs of other NORQEB customers was exempt under s.45(1)(c). Disclosure of a customer's bad debt, the size of a capital contribution required, or the fact that they were required to pay a substantial security deposit, could be reasonably expected to damage business reputation, and there was no public interest factor favouring disclosure of sufficient weight to warrant disclosure.
The Information Commissioner also found that matter which would identify a person who complained to NORQEB about allegedly unsafe wiring at the airpark (which might represent a breach of the Electricity Act 1976), was exempt under s.42(1)(b).