Williamson and Queensland Police Service; A (Third Party)
(2004 F0153, 20 April 2005)
The matter in issue comprised an audio-tape and video-tape recording of an interview of the third party conducted by an officer of the respondent in relation to an incident involving the applicants. The third party was charged with two counts of assault against the applicants. The third party pleaded guilty to those assault charges, and the Magistrate ordered that no conviction be recorded. The taped record of interview did not form part of the Court Brief. The respondent claimed that the taped record of interview was exempt under s.44(1) of the FOI Act.
Applying Stewart and Department of Transport (1993) 1 QAR 227, I found that the information contained in the taped record of interview fell within the core meaning of "personal affairs", and that the information was characterised as either information which (a) solely concerned the personal affairs of the third party, or (b) concerned the 'shared personal affairs' of the third party and the applicants.
In respect of the category (a) information, I was unable to identify any public interest considerations which were of sufficient weight to overcome the public interest consideration (inherent in satisfaction of the test for prima facie exemption under s.44(1)) which favoured non-disclosure of information concerning the personal affairs of persons other than the applicants for access. I found that the category (a) information comprised exempt matter under s.44(1) of the FOI Act.
As regards the category (b) information, a public interest consideration favouring disclosure of that information was identified, however, in the circumstances of this case and taking into account the form of access which was in issue (i.e, audio-tape and video-tape), I concluded that the privacy interest of the third party should properly be accorded greater weight than might otherwise be the case if I was considering a purely text-based document. I found that the category (b) information comprised exempt matter under s.44(1) of the FOI Act.