Privacy policy

​​​​​​The Privacy Act 1988 requires that we must have a privacy policy about the management of personal information.

Current policy

Our department was established on 1 February 2020. We are now the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment. Before this, we were the:

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

We are developing a new privacy policy.

Until we have a combined agency privacy policy, from the 1 February 2020, you should refer to the Department of the Environment and Energy (Environment portfolio) privacy policy.

Department of Agriculture privacy policy (before 1 February 2020)

This is the complete Department of Agriculture privacy policy (before 1 February 2020).


​Document Pages File size
Complete privacy policy PDF  13 248 KB
Complete privacy policy DOC  13 148 KB

If you have difficulty accessing these files, please visit web accessibility.

Condensed privacy policy

Department of Agriculture, August 2019


​Document Pages File size
Condensed privacy policy DOC  5 68 KB

If you have difficulty accessing these files, please visit web accessibility.

Online version

​​About this policy

The purpose of this privacy policy is to:

  • clearly communicate the personal information handling practices of the Department of Agriculture (department)
  • enhance the transparency of the department’s operations, and
  • give individuals a better and more complete understanding of the sort of personal information the department holds, and the way we handle that information.

This condensed privacy policy has been developed to follow the ‘layered policy’ format, which means that it offers layers of greater or lesser detail so people can read as much as they wish and find what they need. This document provides you with a succinct overview of how we handle your personal information. Our complete privacy policy can be accessed on our website.

If you wish to make any comments or suggestions about the privacy policy, you can do so by contacting the department via:

Email: Privacy
Mail: Privacy, Department of Agriculture, PO Box 858, Canberra ACT 2601.

If you would like to request the privacy policy be made available in an alternate format or language, such as for the vision impaired, or for those from non-english speaking backgrounds, please also contact the department. Reasonable steps will be taken to provide alternate access.

This privacy policy is reviewed and updated annually.

Our obligations under the Privacy Act

This privacy policy sets out how we comply with our obligations under the Privacy Act 1988 (Privacy Act). As an Australian Government agency, we are bound by the Australian Privacy Principles (APPs), scheduled to the Privacy Act which regulate how government agencies collect, use, store and disclose personal information, and how individuals may access and correct personal information held about them.

Personal information

The Privacy Act defines personal information as:

‘information or an opinion about an identified individual, or an individual who is reasonably identifiable:

  • whether the information or opinion is true or not, and
  • whether the information or opinion is recorded in a material form or not’.
Sensitive information

Sensitive information is a subset of personal information with additional requirements under the Privacy Act.

Sensitive information is defined in the Privacy Act as information or an opinion about an individual’s racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, membership of a political association, religious beliefs or affiliations, philosophical beliefs, membership of a professional or trade association, membership of a trade union, sexual orientation or practices, or criminal record that is also personal information; health information about an individual, genetic information about an individual, biometric information that is to be used for the purpose of automated biometric verification/identification and biometric templates.

The kinds of personal information collected and held by the department

The department collects and holds a variety of personal information, as included in the table below.

Information Type Description

Personal information

  • name
  • age and gender
  • contact details (including address, phone and email addresses)
  • bank account details
  • photos, videos or audio of individuals
  • employment details (including occupation, qualifications, CV and  remuneration)
  • education details (level of education, study assistance and courses)
  • financial information (ABN)
  • opinions

Sensitive information
(a subset of Personal information)

  • racial or ethnic origin
  • political opinion or association
  • religious beliefs or affiliations
  • philosophical beliefs
  • trade or professional associations and memberships
  • union membership
  • sexual orientation or practices
  • criminal record
  • health or genetic information

How the department collects and holds your personal information

How the department collects your personal information

The department will generally collect your personal information directly from you. However, there may be times when the department may collect personal information from your authorised agent or a third party. If this occurs, such collection will be in accordance with the APPs.

The purposes for which the department collects, holds, uses and discloses your personal information

The purpose for the department collecting your personal information is important as it limits how the department can use and disclose your personal information, unless an exception in the Privacy Act applies. Unless an exception applies, the department will:

  • only use or disclose your personal information for the purpose it was collected, and
  • notify you of this purpose at the time of collection, or as soon as practicable after collection.

The department will only use or disclose your personal information for another purpose where it is able to do so in accordance with the Privacy Act.

There are a number of general purposes for which the department may collect, hold, use and disclose your personal information.

How to access and seek correction of your personal information

Individuals have a right to request access to their personal information and to request its correction if it is inaccurate, out of date, incomplete, irrelevant or misleading.

If you are an external client or stakeholder you should contact the relevant business area within the department, in writing, for access to or correction of your personal information. For example, applicants for a grant program should first contact the program administrator via email or letter. If you do not know which area of the department holds your personal information you can contact the department’s switch on 02 6272 3933. Alternatively, you can use the ‘contact us’ link on the department’s website.

Current and former department employees who wish to gain access to, or correct their personal information need to contact the People Services Branch (People Help) in the first instance. People Help can be contacted on 1800 312 717 or via email at People Services

How you can complain about the treatment of your personal information and how the complaint will be managed

You can make a complaint if you believe the department has interfered with your privacy. An act or practice of the department is an interference with your privacy if it breaches the APPs in relation to your personal information or if it breaches a registered APP code that binds the department in relation to your personal information.

Breaches can be caused by a variety of factors, affect different types of personal information and give rise to a range of actual or potential harm to individuals. Consequently, there is no single way of managing a breach. Each breach will need to be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.

In the first instance, any privacy concerns or complaints should be reported to the department by:

Email: Privacy
Mail: Privacy, Department of Agriculture, PO BOX 858, Canberra ACT 2601.

If you are not satisfied with the department’s handling of your complaint, you also have the option of contacting the Privacy Commissioner within the OAIC. The Privacy Commissioner can be contacted on:

Phone: 1300 363 992
Mail: OAIC, GPO Box 5218 Sydney NSW 2001.

​​Privacy Impact Assessment Register

This register includes Privacy Impact Assessments (PIA) in accordance with the Privacy (Australian Government Agencies — Governance) APP Code 2017.



29 July 2019 Compliance, Risk and Integrated Governance System
20 May 2019 Bulk mail and survey functions
6 May 2019 NEXDOC/Enhanced Exports Traceability
1 Apr 2019 FMIS/Technology One
27 Feb 2019 External Workforce Project
25 Sep 2018 Levy Payer Register

11 Jul 2018

Internal Staff Policy

Last reviewed: 18 March 2020
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