Freedom of Information

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) update – timeframes to process FOI requests

Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department may require additional time to process FOI requests. In these circumstances, we will try to seek your agreement to an extension of time.

Please send an email to the appropriate FOI mailbox (foi@agriculture.gov.au for Agriculture and Water portfolio requests and foi@environment.gov.au for Environment portfolio requests) if you would like to contact the department regarding your FOI request.

During this time, we encourage you to use self-service or administrative access schemes on our website where possible.

​​The Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act) gives you a legal right to request access to documents held by the government.

You can submit an FOI request to access documents.

Who to contact

Our department was established on 1 February 2020. Before this, we were:

  • Department of Agriculture
  • Department of the Environment and Energy (Environment portfolio).

We are still updating our corporate information.

Advice on this page is for FOI requests related to the former Department of Agriculture (this includes FOI requests on water).

Access Environment FOI advice.

Access documents about you

Some information is available to you without an FOI request. For example, documents containing your personal information.

Email personnelhelpdesk@environment.gov.au to request a copy of your documents.

Publicly available documents

Before you make an FOI request, check what is already publicly available. You can access public information through:

Make an FOI request

To process your request as quickly as possible, at the lowest possible cost, it must:

  • be made in writing
  • state that you are seeking information under the FOI Act
  • provide an address (either email or physical) for reply
  • include enough detail about the documents you are requesting

Enough detail means we can identify the:

  • scope of your request
  • time periods your request falls under
  • category of documents sought (reports, minutes, emails)

You may also wish to provide a phone number to make it easier for us to consult with you about your request.

Online

Use our online freedom of information request form.

Mail

Mail your written FOI request to:

FOI Officer
Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment
GPO Box 858
Canberra ACT 2601

Or via email Freedom of Information request form

Material we don’t include in the scope of an FOI request

We will assume your request does not include:

  • identifying information about individuals and businesses (these need third party consultation to release)
  • duplicates of documents
  • draft documents
  • entire documents that are publicly available
  • names, signatures or contact information of non-executive staff​

You must request these if you want them included.

Ministerial documents

All portfolio ministers are separate entities under the FOI Act. You must make FOI requests for ministerial documents directly to the relevant minister.

Find details of our ministers and portfolio.

Processing times

We will tell you within 14 days that we have received your request. We will give you our decision within 30 days unless that time has been extended.

We may also give you an estimate of the charges that apply to your request.

Charges

There is no application fee for any FOI request. You do not pay for requests to access, correct or amend documents containing your personal information only.

Charges may apply for other requests. This is in accordance with the Freedom of Information (Charges) Regulations 1982.

If charges apply, we will notify you of:

  • the estimated charge
  • how it is calculated
  • options for payment or to contend charges should be waived or reduced

Charges for FOI requests

Activity item Charge
Search and retrieval—time we spend searching for or retrieving a document $15.00 per hour
Decision-making—time we spend deciding to grant or refuse a request. Includes examining documents, consulting with other parties, and making deletions. First 5 hours: Nil
Subsequent hours: $20 per hour
Transcript—preparing a transcript from a sound recording, shorthand or similar medium $4.40 per page of transcript
Photocopy $0.10 per page
Inspection—supervision by an agency officer of your inspection of documents or hearing or viewing an audio or visual recording at our premises. $6.25 per half hour (or part thereof)
Delivery—posting or delivering a copy of a document at your request Cost of postage or delivery

If you request that we waive or reduce the charges, we will consider this and provide you with a decision.

If you disagree with our decision

When we have made a decision, we will reply to you explaining our decision and your review and appeal rights. You can ask for the following decisions to be reviewed if we:

  • refuse to give you access to all or part of a document
  • defer giving you access
  • impose a charge or the amount of the charge, or
  • refuse to change or annotate information about you that you claim is incomplete, incorrect, out of date or misleading.

A third party who disagrees with our decision to give you documents that contain information about them can also ask for our decision to be reviewed.

Internal review

You can request in writing that we reconsider our decision through an internal review. An internal review will be conducted by another officer in our agency. We will advise you of our new decision within 30 days of receiving your request.

Information Commissioner review

You can ask the Information Commissioner to review our original or internal review decision. You must apply within 60 days of the date of decision (or 30 days after you are notified if you are an affected third party). The Information Commissioner can affirm or vary the decision or substitute a new decision. The Information Commissioner may decide not to conduct a review in certain circumstances.

See how to apply for an FOI review.

Complaints

If you are unhappy with how we have handled your request, you can complain to the Australian Information Commissioner. They may investigate our actions.

See how to make an FOI complaint.

The Commonwealth Ombudsman can also investigate complaints about our actions. The Ombudsman and the Information Commissioner will consult to avoid investigating the same matter.

Contact

Contact the FOI Officer:

Disclosure log

We publish a disclosure log of documents we have released in response to Freedom of Information (FOI) requests. This is required by the Freedom of Information Act 1982. Documents are published on the disclosure log within 10 days after it is released to the FOI applicant.

All information included in this log is available for public access.

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What we don't publish

We are not required to publish certain types of information. These are defined by the FOI Act.

If it would be considered 'unreasonable', we don't publish:

  • personal information about any person
  • information about the business, commercial, financial or professional affairs of any person
  • other information covered by a determination made by the Australian Information Commissioner

We also don't publish if it is not practical to modify the information to meet these requirements.

Charges for disclosure log documents

You may have to reimburse us for the cost of copying the information or sending it to you. We will not charge you for our time taken to process the original FOI request.

We will notify you of any charges you need to pay.

Charges are payable before we provide the documents.

Previous FOI requests

To access any of these documents, email foi@agriculture.gov.au.

This list includes the past 12 months of requests. You can browse earlier FOI requests in the NLA archive. See the past Agriculture FOI disclosure log.

Reference number Date released
to applicant
Summary of FOI request received by the department Documents released
LEX-3671 2 March 2020

The applicant requested copies of documents outlining the number of greyhounds exported overseas including the source region, destination country and loading port from which each greyhound was exported for the year 2019.

LEX-3671 (PDF - 213 KB)
LEX-3034 29 January 2020 The applicant requested copies of correspondence about the Middle East Sheep Exports Policy Options Discussion Paper and a copy of the paper. LEX-3034 (PDF - 2 MB)
 
Reference number Date released
to applicant
Summary of FOI request received by the department Summary of documents released (and whether released in full or part) Other information
LEX-3035 20 January 2020 The applicant requested copies of reports by ABARES on live export and the economic impact of the live export trade. Full access was granted to 10 documents and access was refused to 3 documents with deletions under s 34(1)(d) and s 47C. To request access to the material contact the FOI Officer
LEX-3189 16 January 2020 The applicant requested copies of valuation reports regarding the valuation of overland flow water licences within the Lower Balonne region of the Condamine Balonne Water Resource Plan. Two documents were released in part with deletions under s 47(1)(b) and s 47F. To request access to the material contact the FOI Officer
LEX-3297 17 January 2020 The applicant requested final reports and related images of exotic wildlife/contraband in relation to airport security breaches. Five documents were released in full. Three documents were released in part with deletions under s47F(1). Thirteen documents were refused release under s37(1)(a), s37(2)(b), s47E(d) and s47F(1). To request access to the material contact the FOI Officer
LEX-3272 11 December 2019 The applicant requested copies of documents in relation to the IPCC special report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5 ⁰C above pre-industrial levels. Six documents were released in part with deletions under s47F(1). To request access to the material contact the FOI Officer
LEX-2910 5 December 2019 The applicant requested documents in relation to export of goods in June 2017. Two documents were released in full. Three documents were released in part with deletions under s47F(1). One document was refused release under s37(2)(b), and s47F(1). To request access to the material contact the FOI Officer
LEX-3158 22 November 2019 The applicant requested documents in relation to honey imports into Australia. One document was released in part with deletions under s47G. To request access to the material contact the FOI Officer
LEX-2496 19 November 2019 The applicant requested copies of the daily voyage and independent observer reports for the May 2019 MV Ocean Drover shipment. Thirty four documents were released in part with deletions under s47F(1), s47(1)(b), s47E(a), s47(1)(a), To request access to the material contact the FOI Officer
LEX-2934 18 November 2019 The applicant requested records of honey import testing. One document was released in part with deletions under s47G. To request access to the material contact the FOI Officer
LEX-2850 5 November 2019 The applicant requested documents in relation to the working group established to review pet food and safety. Full access was granted to six documents and part access was granted to one document with deletions under s47F(1). To request access to the material contact the FOI Officer
LEX-2453 5 November 2019 The applicant requested copies of agendas and/or minutes from meetings of pet food working group/s. Full access was granted to three documents and part access was granted to seven documents with deletions under s47F(1). To request access to the material contact the FOI Officer
LEX-2711 30 October 2019 The applicant requested a copy of a Ministerial Submission MS16-002425. Two documents were released in part with deletions under s47D and s47F(1). To request access to the material contact the FOI Officer
LEX-2738 28 October 2019 The applicant requested copies of documents in relation to the purchase of water entitlements. Three documents were released in full and part access was granted to 24 documents with deletions under s 47C(1), s 47D and s 47F(1). To request access to the material contact the FOI Officer
LEX-2743 14 October 2019 The applicant requested certain documents in the 2019/009912E Exports Services – Policy – Working Papers 80/1020 – Live Animal Exports – Australian Standards for the Export of Livestock file. Eight documents were released in part with deletions under s47C(1) and s47G. To request access to the material contact the FOI Officer
LEX-2697 11 October 2019 The applicant requested copies of tender and due diligence assessment documentation in relation to water purchases. Part access was granted to one document with deletions under s 47F(1). Access was refused to three documents under s 42(1), s 47(1)(b), s 47F(1) & s 45(1)). To request access to the material contact the FOI Officer
LEX-2277 13 September 2019 The applicant requested documents in relation to a livestock voyage which occurred in July 2018. 30 documents were released in part with deletions under s47F(1) and s47G(1)(a). To request access to the material contact the FOI Officer
LEX-2329 13 August 2019 The applicant requested lists of imports of potato fibre and carrot fibre. Two documents were released in part with deletions under s47G(1)(a). To request access to the material contact the FOI Officer
LEX-2170 26 July 2019 The applicant requested copies of daily voyage reports for MV Al Messilah and MV Al Shuwaikh. 65 documents were released in part with deletions under s47. To request access to the material contact the FOI Officer
LEX-2375 29 July 2019 The Applicant requested parts of the Department’s Incoming Government Brief. Twelve pages of material was released in part. To request access to the material contact the FOI Officer
LEX-2185 26 July 2019 The applicant requested lists of dog, cat and zoo animal imports and exports, by country. Three documents were released in full. To request access to the material contact the FOI Officer
LEX-2247 8 July 2019 The applicant requested specific pages of reports which were prepared in relation to live animal export voyages. Twenty pages were released with deletions under s47C(1), s47F(1) and s47G(1)(a). Twenty-one pages were refused release under s47C(1), s47F(1) and s47G(1)(a). To request access to the material contact the FOI Officer
LEX-2193 3 July 2019 The applicant requested copies of documents sent in 2019 from the department to the Minister for Agriculture in relation to farm trespass. Three documents were released in part with deletions under ss 42, 47C, 47F and 47G(1)(b). To request access to the material contact the FOI Officer
LEX-2031 28 June 2019 The applicant requested copies of any heat stress risk assessments provided to the Department in relation to a particular live animal export voyage. One document was released in part with redactions under s 47(1)(b). To request access to the material contact the FOI Officer
LEX-2026 28 May 2019 The applicant requested various documents relating to consignments of live animals exported from Australia and the cancellation of the export licence of one exporter. Eight documents were released in part with deletions under s22, s45(1), s47G(1) and s47F(1). To request access to the material contact the FOI Officer
LEX-1734 23 May 2019 The applicant requested two documents prepared by the Department in relation to a proposed water purchase. Two documents were released in part with deletions under s47C(1), s47F(1) and s 45. To request access to the material contact the FOI Officer
LEX-1695 29 April 2019 The applicant requested copies of documents in relation to correspondence regarding the Carbon Farming Initiative Water Rule. Eight documents were released in full. Two documents were released in part with deletions under s47F(1). To request access to the material contact the FOI Officer
LEX-1579 26 April 2019 The applicant requested copies of correspondence between the department and Food Standards Australia & New Zealand in relation to the importation of raw milk cheese. Two documents were released in full. Eight documents were realised in part with deletions under s47F(1). To request access to the material contact the FOI Officer
LEX-1077 12 April 2019 The applicant requested copies of documents in relation to a vessel which transported livestock during the period September 2015 to January 2016. Sixty nine documents were released in part with deletions under s33, s47C(1), s47F(1) and s47G.
Twenty six documents were refused release under s33, s47C(1) and s47G.
To request access to the material contact the FOI Officer
LEX-1489 9 April 2019 The applicant requested documents in relation to a vessel’s arrival and operation in Australian waters. One document was released in part with deletions under s47F(1) and s47G. One document was refused release under s47G. To request access to the material contact the FOI Officer
LEX-1561 8 April 2019 The applicant requested copies of documents in relation to the variation of the New South Wales Regional Forest Agreements. One document was released in part with deletions under s42, s47B and s47C(1). To request access to the material contact the FOI Officer
LEX-1468 15 April 2019 The applicant requested copies of briefing notes prepared for the Minister and records of telephone calls, tele-presences and meetings related to the live export of livestock from Australia. Five documents were released in full. 37 documents were released in part and access was refused to 5 documents under s33, 37, 42, 47B, 47C, 47G & 47F. To request access to the material contact the FOI Officer
LEX-1518 4 April 2019 The applicant requested the analysis and advice to inform due diligence for specified irrigation projects. Four documents were released in part with deletions under s47F(1). To request access to the material contact the FOI Officer
LEX-1581 8 March 2019 The applicant requested specific instruments of appointment of authorised officers for the purposes of the Export Control Act 1982 for the period 13 July 1998 to 30 June 2002. Two documents were released in full. To request access to the material contact the FOI Officer
LEX-1434 20 February 2019 The applicant requested lists of dog, cat and zoo animal exports, by country, for 1 January 2016 to
30 September 2018.
One document was released in full. To request access to the material contact the FOI Officer
LEX-846 1 February 2019 The applicant requested copies of documents relating to the licence cancellation of the livestock export licence of an entity. Four documents were released in full and 30 documents were refused access under s 33, 43, 45, 47, 47C, 47F and 47G. To request access to the material contact the FOI Officer
LEX-755 25 January 2019 The applicant requested copies of reports identified in a letter to them from the department dated 11 October 2018, excluding any attachments of photos and videos that may be referenced in any of the reports. Eight documents were released in part with deletions under s33, s45, s47, s47C(1), s47E(d), s47F(1) and s47G. To request access to the material contact the FOI Officer
LEX-968 21 January 2019 The applicant requested copies of documents in relation to four shipping containers for the periods 31 March 2018 to 29 October 2018. As well as correspondence relating to those shipping containers for the periods 20 March 2018 to 29 October 2018. 15 documents were released in full. Two documents were released in part with deletions under s47E(d). Two documents were refused release under s47G. To request access to the material contact the FOI Officer
LEX-960 16 January 2019 The applicant requested copies of assessments relied upon in relation to the North East Regional Forest Agreement. Six documents were released in full. To request access to the material contact the FOI Officer

Note: Prior to 1 February 2020, the department provided a contact to obtain the documents rather than upload PDF documents to ensure that the documents are able to be provided in a format that is suitable for each individual. If the documents that have been uploaded are not in a format that is accessible to you, please contact the FOI Officer. We will try to meet all reasonable requests for an alternate format of the document in a timely manner and at the lowest reasonable cost to you.

Last reviewed: 6 April 2020
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