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Freedom of Information

Section 8 of the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (the FOI Act) requires Commonwealth Government agencies to make available information about their organisation, functions and operations, and about rules and practices used in making decisions that affect members of the public.

How to lodge a Freedom of Information request

In accordance with section 15 of the FOI Act, any person is entitled to apply for access to documents that fall within its scope. If you need further information or to lodge a formal request under the FOI Act, please contact:

Freedom of Information Coordinator
Department of Transport and Regional Services
GPO Box 594
CANBERRA ACT 2601

Telephone: (02) 6274 7844
Fax: (02) 6274 6775
Email: foi@dotars.gov.au

A request under the FOI Act must be in writing (email is acceptable), accompanied by a $30 application fee, and stating an address in Australia to which notices under the FOI Act can be sent. In certain instances the fee is not required or can be remitted. For a quick response, please provide as much information as possible about the document(s) you are seeking. It is advisable to include a telephone number in case clarification of your request is necessary.

For the purposes of the FOI Act, the records of the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, the Bureau of Transport and Regional Economics and the administrations of Jervis Bay Territory, Christmas Island, the Cocos (Keeling) Islands and Norfolk Island are records of the department.

Categories of documents

The following categories of documents are held by DOTARS:

  • birth, death and marriage records (non self-governing territories only)
  • briefing papers and submissions prepared for ministers, parliamentary secretary, Cabinet and Executive Council
  • business papers, briefing notes and meeting records for committees and conferences which the department services or in which it participates
  • codes of practice
  • documents of the Australian Transport Council
  • documents prepared by international agencies
  • documents relating to the development of legislation
  • environmental impact statements
  • internal administration documents
  • international treaties, memoranda of understanding and international conventions
  • legal documents, including legislation, contracts, leases and court documents
  • ministerial responses to parliamentary questions, interdepartmental and general correspondence and papers
  • motor vehicle registry records (non self-governing territories only)
  • policy documents, recommendations and decisions
  • programme, fund and grant administration papers
  • registers of documents, approvals, exemptions, permits and licences
  • service delivery arrangements
  • Standards Australia guidelines for road design, signage and technical benchmarks
  • technical maps, charts, photographs, drawings and specifications, manuals, statistics, databases and geographical information systems
  • vehicle safety recalls.

Functions and decision-making powers

The organisation and functions of the department are described in Part 2 of this report.

Certain officers exercise delegated decision-making powers and advise the minister on the exercise of powers in relation to the following:

  • air navigation
  • air navigation and fuel spillage
  • air passenger ticket levy
  • aircraft noise
  • aircraft noise levy
  • airport curfews
  • airports
  • archives
  • aviation security
  • Bass Straight Passenger Equalisation Scheme
  • coastal trade
  • Commonwealth explosives
  • Dairy Regional Assistance Programme
  • Federal Interstate Registration Scheme
  • financial management and accountability
  • freedom of information
  • investigation of air safety occurrences and safety deficiencies
  • investigation of marine incidents
  • local government
  • maritime
  • motor vehicle certification and imports
  • National Highways
  • non self-governing territories
  • public service employment
  • Regional Assistance Programme including the Area Consultative Committee network
  • Road Safety Black Spots
  • Roads of National Importance
  • Roads to Recovery
  • Rural Transaction Centres Programme
  • self-governing territories
  • ships capital grants
  • stevedoring levy
  • Tasmanian Freight Equalisation Scheme
  • third party war risk indemnities for the aviation industry
  • trade practices (Part X of the Trade Practices Act 1974)

A Section 9 Statement listing manuals and other documents used by departmental officers when making decisions or recommendations that affect the public is available on request from the FOI coordinator or any office of the Australian Archives.

Arrangements for outside participation

The department welcomes views and comments from members of the public and bodies outside the Commonwealth on its policy formulation and administration of portfolio legislation. Public consultation is widely practised at varying levels, across many fields of policy and output delivery. Formal participation and consultation are arranged through the following bodies.

Australian Transport Safety Bureau

  • Aerial Agricultural Association of Australia
  • Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association of Australia
  • Australian Airports Association
  • Australian Federation of Air Pilots
  • Australian and International Pilots Association
  • Australian Licenced Aircraft Engineers Association
  • Australasian Traffic Policing Forum
  • Australasian Flight Safety Council
  • Australian Coroners Society Inc
  • Australian Ultralight Federation
  • Fatigue Management Pilot Working Group
  • Flag State Implementation Subcommittee of the International Maritime Organization
  • Flight Attendants Association of Australia
  • Flight Safety Forums
  • Gliding Federation of Australia
  • Heavy Vehicle Driver Fatigue Advisory Panel and Regulation Reference Group
  • Heavy Vehicle Safety Strategy Task Force
  • Human Factors Advisory Group
  • Indigenous Road Safety Working Group
  • International Air Transport Association
  • International Transportation Safety Association
  • International Civil Aviation Organization
  • Marine Accident Investigators International Forum
  • Motorcycle Safety Consultative Committee
  • National Road Safety Strategy Panel
  • Regional Airlines Association of Australia
  • Research Coordination Advisory Group
  • Road Safety Marketing and Public Education Forum
  • The Australian Research Council Key Centre for Human Factors and Applied Cognitive Psychology

Aviation and Airports Policy

  • Aviation Stakeholders' Conference
  • Aviation Working Group
  • National Advisory Facilitation Committee

Transport and Infrastructure Policy

  • Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Transportation Working Group
  • Australian Bicycle Council (though this is not a consultation body)
  • Australia-Indonesia Development Area Transport Working Group
  • Australian Freight Council Network
  • Australian Global Navigation Satellite System Coordination Committee
  • Australian Logistics Council
  • Australian Transport Council
  • Standing Committee on Transport

Transport Regulation

  • Airport Environment Consultative Committees
  • Australian Motor Vehicle Certification Board
  • Committee to Advise on Recall and Safety
  • International Civil Aviation Organization
  • Long-term Operating Plan Implementation Monitoring Committee
  • Motor Vehicle Environment Committee
  • Sydney Airport Community Forum
  • Technical Liaison Group
  • Transport Emissions Liaison Group
Transport Programmes
  • Road Safety Black Spot Programme Consultative Panels
Regional Policy
  • Regional Business Development Analysis Programme
  • Regional Women's Advisory Council
  • Understanding Rural Australia Advisory Committee
Regional Programmes
  • Area Consultative Committees
  • Collaboration Across the North Officers Group
  • Regional Solutions Programme Advisory Committee
  • Rural Transaction Centres Programme Advisory Committee
  • South-West Forests Adjustment Package Advisory Committee
  • Sustainable Regions Advisory Committees
  • Wide Bay Burnett Structural Adjustment Package
Territories and Local Government
  • Administrators Advisory Committees
  • Australian Local Government Association
  • Commonwealth/State Planning Officials Group
  • Commonwealth/State/Local Government Officials Group
  • Commonwealth/State/Local Government Regional Development Task Force
  • Development Assessment Forum
  • Justice Issues Group
  • Kingston and Arthur's Vale Historic Area Board of Management
  • National Awards for Innovation in Local Government - judging panel
  • Wreck Bay Aboriginal Community Council
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