Appendix F—Report under the FOI Act

Under section 15 of the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act), any person is entitled to apply for access to Australian Government documents created after 1970. The Department holds documents relating to its roles of:

  • developing and providing national policy advice to enhance transport safety and security and to strengthen social and economic opportunities for Australia's regions and local governments;
  • investing in infrastructure and administering programs to enhance the safety of the road transport system, develop Australia's regions and support local governments;
  • conducting research and investigations to improve the performance, safety and security of our transport systems, support policy development and inform the wider community;
  • providing regulatory frameworks to ensure a clear and robust transport environment; and
  • working with other levels of government and engage domestically and internationally with stakeholders to facilitate outcomes for all Australians.

This appendix explains how to request access to documents held by the Department under the FOI Act, what records the Department holds and what arrangements we have in place for outside participation. Detailed information about the FOI Act is available on the website of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet,

Table F.1 gives trend information for Freedom of Information (FOI) requests.

Table F.1 Trends in Freedom of Information (FOI) requests

Volume of FOI requests handled
Requests on hand at 1 July (A) 9 15 13 11 12
New requests received (B) 68 69 74 39 34
Requests withdrawn (C) 24 21 38 11 15
Requests on hand at 30 June (D) 15 13 11 12 5
Total FOI requests resolved
(A + B - C - D)
38 50 38 27 26
Timeliness of responses to FOI requestsa
Resolved in < 30 days 9 10 15 10 15
Resolved in 31-60 days 13 27 13 6 4
Resolved in 61-90 days 8 8 5 5 4
Resolved in > 90 days 8 5 5 6 3
Total FOI requests resolved 38 50 38 27 26

a These statistics cannot be compared with the deadlines set in the Freedom of Information Act 1982 as the Act allows for extensions of time to allow for consultation with third parties, negotiation of fees and other issues. Resolved requests include transfers to other agencies.

How to lodge a Freedom of Information request

A request for access to documents made under the FOI Act must:

  • be made in writing (this can be transmitted by email or fax);
  • be accompanied by the $30 application fee (this can be waived or refunded in some cases);
  • include an address in Australia to which replies and notices can be sent; and
  • provide enough information for the Department to identify the documents you wish to access.

It may not be possible to obtain access to all of the documents sought in an FOI request. Access is limited by exemptions that protect essential public interests, and private and business affairs of other parties.

If you need more information or wish to discuss making an FOI request, you can contact the Department by:

fax: 02 6275 1347;
phone: 02 6274 7531; or 
post: Freedom of Information Coordinator,
Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government
GPO Box 594, CANBERRA ACT 2601

The Department usually imposes additional processing charges. The Freedom of Information Act 1982 Schedule of Fees and Charges sets out rates for the time spent searching for and retrieving relevant documents, decision-making time, photocopying and other costs. Where charges are imposed, applicants are provided with an estimate of the processing charges and their agreement is sought before continuing.

What records we hold

Like many other Australian Government agencies, the Department holds records such as:

  • briefing papers and submissions prepared for Ministers, Parliamentary Secretaries, Cabinet and Executive Council (noting that these are generally classified documents);
  • business papers, briefing notes and meeting records for committees and conferences which we service or in which we participate;
  • codes of practice;
  • 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;
  • maps and other geographical information;
  • ministerial responses to parliamentary questions, interdepartmental and general correspondence and papers;
  • policy documents, recommendations and decisions;
  • program, fund and grant administration papers;
  • registers of documents, agreements, approvals, exemptions, permits and licences;
  • service delivery agreements;
  • statistics and databases; and
  • technical standards, guidelines, specifications, charts, photographs, drawings and manuals.

A digest of the personal information we hold is available at This information is updated annually.

Functions and decision-making powers

Our organisation and functions are described throughout this report.

Certain officers exercise decision-making powers and advise our ministers on the exercise of their powers under portfolio legislation and other matters. These responsibilities are as set out in the Administrative Arrangements Order (AAO) for the Commonwealth of Australia and relate to:

  • infrastructure planning and coordination;
  • transport safety, including investigations;
  • land transport;
  • civil aviation and airports;
  • transport security;
  • delivery of regional and rural specific services;
  • maritime transport including shipping;
  • regional development;
  • matters relating to local government; and
  • major projects facilitation.

For a complete and up-to-date copy of the AAO visit or and search for AAO.

To ensure that the Department's employees exercise their powers appropriately and to raise awareness of and access to their decision-making authorities, the Department uses an online delegations management system called i-Delegate. The system allows employees to check information about the powers and authorities assigned under the legislation set out in the AAO relating to the subject matters listed above and laws such as the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 and the Public Service Act 1999.

To review a list of the manuals and other documents we use when making decisions or recommendations that affect the public, contact any office of the National Archives of Australia or visit

Arrangements for outside participation

We consult widely to gain the views of our stakeholders and clients about future policy directions and program delivery. This includes consulting with other Australian state and territory government departments and agencies as appropriate and with foreign governments, particularly in the context of transport security, safety and aviation policy. The other key external bodies we consulted in 2007-08 are as listed in Table F.2. For particular policy issues we may also contact a very broad range of stakeholders. However, space does not permit us to list all organisations contacted.

Table F.2 External bodies consulted by the Department in 2007-08

BodyMain contact point(s) within the Department
International body
Ministerial body
Other national body
Regionally based body
Category of body Local Government and Regional Development Australian Transport Safety Bureau Office of Transport Security Aviation and Airports Infrastructure Investment Infrastructure and Surface Transport Policy National Transport Strategy Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport
and Regional Economics
Accredited Air Cargo Agents (AACAs)              
Accessible Public Transport National Advisory Committee              
Aerial Agricultural Association of Australia
Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association of Australia
Airspace Consultative Forum              
All Australian National Ports            
American Public Transit Association
Area Consultative Committees
Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Maritime Security Experts Group
Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Aviation Security Experts Group
Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Transportation Working Group
Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation - Aviation Emissions Taskforce
Australasian College of Road Safety
Australasian Flight Safety Council            
Australasian Railway Association
Australasian Road Rescue Association
Australasian Traffic Policing Forum              
Australia-Indonesia Development Area Transport Working Group            
Australian Airports Association
Australian Automobile Association
Australian Ballooning Federation
Australian Business Aircraft Association
Australian Conservation Foundation
Australian and International Pilots Association
Australian Bicycle Council
Australian Consortium for Social and Political Research Incorporated
Australian Coroners Society Inc.              
Australian Council of Trade Unions
Australian Driver Trainers Association
Australian Federation of Air Pilots
Australian Federation of International Forwarders
Australian Fisheries Management Authority
Australian Freight Councils Network
Australian Institute of Marine & Power Engineers
Australian Institute of Marine Surveyors
Australian Institute of Petroleum
Australian Institute of Professional Marine Engineers              
Australian Licensed Aircraft Engineers Association
Australian Liquefied Petroleum Gas Association
Australian Local Government Association
Australian Logistics Council
Australian Maritime College
Australian Maritime Group              
Australian Marine Industries Federation Ltd
Australian Maritime Officers Union
Australian Marine Pilots Association
Australian Mayoral Aviation Council              
Australian Motor Vehicle Certification Board              
Australian and New Zealand Regional Science Association International              
Australian Peak Shippers Association Inc              
Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association
Australian Research Council Key Centre for Human Factors and Applied Cognitive Psychology              
Australian Research Council Research Network in Spatially Integrated Social Science              
Aviation Safety Foundation of Australasia (ASFA)
Australian Services Union (ASU)
Australian Shipbuilders Association
Australian Shipowners Association
Australian Ship Repairers Group
Australian Sports Aviation Confederation (ASAC)
Australian Strategic Air Traffic Management Group (ASTRA)
Australian Transport Council
Australian Trucking Association
Australian Ultralight Federation (see Recreational Aviation Australia)              
Australian Warbirds Association
Australian Women Pilots Association
Australian Workers Union (AWU)
Austroads Council
Aviation Security Identification Card (ASIC) Issuing Bodies              
Aviation Security Training Advisory Group (ASTAG)              
Board of Airline Representatives of Australia          
Bus Industry Confederation
Cape York Land Council
Cargo Working Group              
Charles Darwin University
City of Wodonga
Civil Air
Commercial Vessel Association of NSW              
Commonwealth Fisheries Association              
Committee to Advise on Recall and Safety              
Commonwealth/State/Local Government Joint Officers Group              
Commonwealth/State Planning Officials Group              
Communications, Electrical and Plumbing Union (CEPU)
Competitive Carriers Coalition              
Conference of Asia-Pacific Express Carriers
ConocoPhillips Energy              
Construction and Property Services Industry Skills Council
Council of Australian Governments
Council of Capital City Lord Mayors
Critical Infrastructure Protection Working Group            
Customs Brokers and Forwarders Council of Australia
Deakin University
Development Assessment Forum
Environs Kimberley
Fatigue Management Pilot Working Group              
Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries
Flag State Implementation Subcommittee of the International Maritime Organization            
Flight Attendants Association of Australia
Flight Safety Forums              
Flinders University
Gliding Federation of Australia
Guild of Air Pilots and Navigators (GAPAN)
Gulf Savannah Development Inc
Heavy Vehicle Driver Fatigue Advisory Panel and Regulation Reference Group            
Heavy Vehicle Safety Strategy Task Force            
Helicopter Industry Association              
High Level Group on Aviation Security              
Human Factors Advisory Group            
Indigenous Road Safety Working Group
Industry Consultative Meeting (Aviation Security)              
Institute of Public Works Engineering Australia
Intelligent Transport Systems - Australia
International Transport Forum
International Transportation Safety Association
International Air Transport Association
International Civil Aviation Organization
International Maritime Organization
International Oil Pollution Compensation Funds
Joint Agencies Maritime Advisory Group              
Kimberley Development Commission
Kimberley Land Council
Land Transport Environment Committee              
Legal Committee of the International Maritime Organization              
Liquor, Hospitality and Miscellaneous Union (LHMU)
Local Government and Planning Ministers Council
Local Government Managers' Association
Long-term Operating Plan Implementation Monitoring Committee            
Marine Accident Investigators International Forum
Marine Coastal Community Network
Marine Environment Protection Committee of the International Marine Organization              
Maritime Industry Security Consultative Forum              
Maritime Safety Committee of the International Maritime Organization            
Maritime Security Identification Card Working Group              
Maritime Security Indentification Card (MSIC) Issuing Bodies              
Maritime Union of Australia
Minerals Council of Australia
Motorcycle Safety Consultative Committee            
National Advisory Facilitation Committee            
National Aquaculture Council
National Awards for Innovation in Local Government - judging panel              
National Bulk Commodities Group              
National Farmers Federation
National Road Safety Strategy Panel            
National Tourism and Aviation Advisory Committee          
National Transport Commission
National Union of Workers (NUW)
Northern Advanced Manufacturing Industry Group              
North West Shelf Shipping Service Company
Northern Australia Indigenous Land and Sea Management Alliance (NAILSMA)
Northern Gulf Resource Management Group
Northern Land Council
Ord Irrigation Cooperative
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
Oil and Gas Security Forum              
Overnight Air Operators Association            
Pacific National              
Pedestrian Council of Australia
Planning Institute of Australia
Plastics and Chemicals Industry Association
Ports Australia
Queensland Marine Board              
Queensland Rail
Queensland Seafood Industry Association
Queensland University of Technology
Rail Corp NSW
Rail, Tram and Bus Union            
Recreational Aviation Australia
Regional Airspace and Procedures Advisory Committee              
Regional Aviation Association of Australia
Regional Development Council
Regional Maritime Program International Organisation
Regional Women's Advisory Council
Registered Air Cargo Agents (RACAs)                
Registered Air Cargo Agents Quality Assurance Systems (RACAQAS)              
Remote Areas Consultative Group              
Research Coordination Advisory Group            
Road Safety Black Spot Program Consultative Panels              
Road Safety Marketing and Public Education Forum            
Royal Australasian College of Surgeons
Safeskies Australia
Screening Improvement Group              
Secretariat of the Pacific Community International Organisation
Shipping Australia Ltd
Shire of Christmas Island
Shire of Cocos (Keeling) Islands              
Shire of Wyndham-East Kimberley
South Australian Freight Council
Sports Aircraft Association of Australia
Standing Committee on Regional Development            
Standing Committee on Transport        
Standing Committee on Transport - Transport Security Working Group              
State Training Authorities              
Sustainable Regions Advisory Committees
Sydney Airport Community Forum
Technical Liaison Group              
Technology Working Group              
Tourism and Transport Forum
Transport and Logistics Industry Skills Council
Transport Emissions Liaison Group              
Transport Security Administration (US) - Department of Homeland Security
Transport Security Working Group              
Transport Workers Union
Truck Industry Council
Trusted Information Sharing Network
TT-Line Company              
United Nations Economic Commission for Europe
University of Tasmania
US Engine Manufacturers Association
US Environment Protection Agency
Victorian Transport Association
Virgin Blue Airlines Pty Ltd
Woodside Petroleum Ltd
WWF Australia

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