Stubberfield and Redland Shire Council
(1994 L0008, 7 March 2000)
The applicant sought review of a refusal of access by the respondent to a number of documents relating to the applicant’s property and adjoining land, which the respondent contended were exempt under s.43(1), s.44(l) or s.45(l)(c) of the FOI Act.
The Information Commissioner found that the identities of third parties who had dealt with the respondent in a private capacity were exempt from disclosure under s.44(l) of the FOI Act, as well as a small amount of matter concerning the personal affairs of those third parties. I also found that the respondent was entitled to refuse access to one document under s.22(a) of the FOI Act, as it was reasonably available for inspection in the Registry of the Planning and Environment Court.
The Information Commissioner found that the remaining documents in issue (which comprised records of communications between the respondent and its legal advisors) were subject to legal professional privilege and exempt from disclosure under s.43(1) of the FOI Act. The Information Commissioner rejected the applicant's contention that the documents in question were created in furtherance of an illegal or improper purpose.