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Forest Practices Authority

Right to Information

The Right to Information Act 2009 gives the public access to information held by government bodies. It:

  • authorises and encourages routine disclosure of information held by public authorities without the need for requests or applications
  • authorises and encourages active disclosure of information held by public authorities in response to informal requests without the need for applications
  • gives members of the public an enforceable right to information held by public authorities
  • provides that access to information held by government bodies is restricted in only limited circumstances which are defined in the Act.

How to access our information

Under the Act the FPA may disclose information to the public as:

  1. required disclosure – through information it is required by law to make available e.g. the FPA Annual Report
  2. routine disclosure – information the FPA decides may be of interest to the public e.g. the FPA’s website and downloadable publications
  3. active disclosure – informal release of information in response to a request (other than as an ‘assessed disclosure’)
  4. assessed disclosure – the disclosure of information following a decision in accordance with the Act, in response to an application made in accordance with s13 of the Act.

The FPA website and publications

The FPA makes ‘required’ and ‘routine’ information disclosures on this website, through publications (e.g. fact sheets, or discussion papers) and via non-statutory and statutory reports (e.g. our annual report). The website contains comprehensive information about the FPA and the forest practices system.

The FPA has various publications which, in addition to being available on our publications register, may be mailed upon request. These include the annual reports, forest practices news, the state of the forests reports and information on the forest practices system. If you would prefer a hard copy, please:

*    email the request for the publication(s) to: info@fpa.tas.gov.au

*    or post the request for the publication(s) to:

The Right to Information Officer
Forest Practices Authority
30 Patrick Street
HOBART 7000

*    or phone the FPA on (03) 6165 4090.

If you can't find information

Some information is not released on the website or through other publicly accessible means, either because it is not regarded as being of general public interest or because it is information the FPA would need to assess in accordance with the Right to Information Act 2009 prior to disclosure.

If you are unable to find the information you are looking for through the FPA website or other standard publications, please contact the FPA, preferably by phone to (03) 6165 4090 or by email to info@fpa.tas.gov.au in the first instance.

The FPA may:

  • advise you that the information requested is not held by the FPA
  • supply you with the information requested as an ‘active’ disclosure
  • ask that you make an ‘assessed disclosure’ application (see below) if there is a need to assess the request against the exemptions in the Act.

How to make an application

If you have can’t find the information you are after, you can make an application for assessed disclosure in writing.

Before completing and lodging an application please:

  • note that the application needs to be made to the department, authority or council holding the relevant information or most closely linked to the information – which may not be the FPA
  • ensure you have looked for the information, because if the information is otherwise available your application may be refused without the return of your application fee.

You can either complete the assessed disclosure application form or you can make the application in writing with the same requested on the form.

Applications have a fee of $41.25 (current at 1 July 2021).

You can apply to have the fee waived if:

  • you are in financial hardship – we will need evidence such as a Centrelink Health Care Card
  • you are a member of parliament and the application is in connection with your official duty
  • you are able to show that the information sought is intended to be used for a purpose that is of general public interest or benefit.

Send your application to:

Right to Information Officer (or email: info@fpa.tas.gov.au)
Forest Practices Authority
30 Patrick Street
Hobart TAS 7000

How we handle your application

We will check your application to make sure we understand what you are asking for and that you have paid the application fee, or we decide that we will waive the fee.

We might contact you to ask you to clarify your application or to help you make an application that we can accept and progress.

We may transfer your application to another public authority if we are not best placed to locate and provide the information and we will let you know if that happens.

Once we have accepted your application, we will search for the information you have requested and assess it to determine if all or part of it can be disclosed.

You will be notified in writing of the decision on your application as soon as practicable. This will usually take no more than 20 working days from when your application is accepted.

If your request is complex, or you have asked for a large amount of information, we may ask you to give us more time.

If there is a need to consult with a third party, more time is allowed. We will let you know the outcome as soon as possible, but as far as possible no later than 40 working days. We will let you know if this is happening.

If we decide to not disclose all or part of the information you have applied for, we will provide the reasons for the refusal together with details about your right to seek a review of the decision.

If information is disclosed a summary of the application may be published by the FPA on its website, giving context to the nature of the released information. In addition, if information is considered to be in the broader public interest it will be published. While your identity will not be published, the category of applicant will be published, e.g. Member of Parliament, organisation, media representative, private individual.

Review process

If you are unhappy about a decision you may apply for review of the decision.

The first step is an internal review of the decision. An internal review must be requested within 20 days of receiving the notice of the decision.  This can be done by writing to (or email: info@fpa.tas.gov.au):

Chief Forest Practices Officer
Right to Information 
Forest Practices Authority
30 Patrick Street
Hobart TAS 7000

In some cases, you may also be able to seek an external review by the Ombudsman:

  1. If we do not get back to you in the timeframe allowed then we may be taken to have refused your application and you are able to make an application for external review to the Ombudsman without applying for an internal review first.
  2. If you have applied for internal review and are unhappy with the internal review decision, then you may apply to the Ombudsman for an external review.

Information on reviews by the Ombudsman can be found on the Office of the Ombudsman's website.