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Freedom of information statement

The Victorian Freedom of Information Act 1982 gives you the right to request information held by the State Library Victoria other than information in library material maintained for reference purposes. It also gives you the right to request that incorrect or misleading information held by the Library about you be amended.

Categories of documents

Documents to which there is a right of access under the Act that are maintained in the possession of the Library include the following types of documents relating to the activities of the Library:

  • documents prepared for briefing ministers and government
  • internal working papers of the Library
  • correspondence from ministers, members of Parliament, government departments and agencies, and members of the public and private sector
  • records relating to accounts
  • personnel and salary records
  • organisation and accommodation records
  • information about people and organisations that provide services to the Library and for whom the Library provides services
  • information about users of the Library and their use of the Library
  • information about friends of the Library and other people who support its activities.

What information is released?

The Library can refuse to release a document if it contains information that is exempt under the Act. Documents can be exempt in full, or exempt parts can be deleted with the remainder of the document released. The Act outlines general categories of documents that are exempt. These include documents containing information relating to the affairs of third parties, documents provided in confidence, documents containing information which, if released, might endanger the lives or physical safety of individuals, documents containing commercial-in-confidence information and internal working documents, the release of which would be contrary to the public interest. Release of some documents may be subject to conditions or limitations on release imposed by the person who placed them in the custody of the Library.

The Act does not entitle applicants to access documents created prior to July 1978 unless those documents relate to the applicant's personal affairs. Certain documents are destroyed in accordance with the Public Records Act 1973.

How do I access documents?

Access to documents can only be obtained by written request. Applications should be as specific as possible to enable the freedom of information officers to identify the relevant documents as quickly and efficiently as possible.

If your request is unduly vague or broad, we may ask you to clarify or narrow the request. We may refuse the request where processing it would unreasonably divert Library resources.

If information relevant to your request includes personal or commercially confidential information about third parties, we may be required to obtain their views before deciding whether to give you access.

Each request should be accompanied by the application fee. This fee may be waived in cases where payment would cause an applicant financial hardship. Where an applicant seeks a waiver of this fee, the request should indicate the grounds for the waiver.

Applications should be addressed to:

Freedom of Information team
Policy, Risk and Legal
State Library Victoria
328 Swanston Street
Melbourne Vic 3000

Assistance can be provided to potential applicants by contacting the Freedom of Information Officer.

As required by the Act, all reasonable steps are taken to enable the applicant to be notified of a decision concerning the release of documents as soon as practicable.

How much will it cost me to access documents?

Applicants will be charged a non-returnable fee, currently $32.70, for each application to access documents.

If documents need to be retrieved or photocopied, additional access charges may apply. Some charges may be waived in certain circumstances. GST is not payable on any application fees or access charges under the Act.

If we decide to refuse to grant access, to defer access or to not waive or reduce an application fee, you may apply to the Freedom of Information Commissioner for a review of our decision, but you must do so within 28 days after the day on which we give you notice of the decision. You may also make a complaint to the Commissioner if you are dissatisfied with our handling of your request, including if we decide that a document does not exist or cannot be located.


Policy, Risk and Legal

State Library Victoria
Phone: 03 8664 7000
Email: [email protected]