Environment Tasmania and DPIPWE (November 2019)
Environment Tasmania asked the Department to provide a range of information about fin-fish farming around Tasmania. The first response was a possible refusal under s19. This was due to the size and complexity of what has been sought. The scope was revised and focused on a smaller sub-set of information about Okehampton Bay. The Department refused its release claiming it would expose a third party to competitive disadvantage under s37. The Ombudsman set this decision aside. While s37 might have been able to apply, it did not satisfy the public interest test.
Gina Green and King Island Council (June 2018)
Ms Green alleged that a development application that was put out for public comment by King Island Council was different to the actual development. Ms Green submitted an application for assessed disclosure to Council, seeking a copy of the DA.
Council refused the application under s19 on the basis it only allocated 1% of one of its officer's time to processing RTI applications. The Ombudsman determined this was not appropriate and overturned the use of s19, directing an assessed disclosure be undertaken.
Rosalie Woodruff and DPIPWE (June 2018)
In an original application, Ms Woodruff requested information from the Department in relation to four fin-fish farming organisations. The Department originally applied s19 and appropriately offered Ms Woodruff an opportunity to revise her application.
Ms Woodruff did this, cutting the application down to just one of those companies. Once that decision was completed, Ms Woodruff then submitted two additional applications - each one dealing with one of the three remaining companies removed from her original application. The Department refused this under s20 claiming it a repeat application.
Damien Matcham and Brighton Council (January 2018)
Mr Matcham requested seven years' worth of Council related credit card statements and several years worth of the General Manager's diary appointments among other things. Council refused the bulk of the decision under s19 on the basis the work required would be a substantial and unreasonable diversion of its resources from its other work. Some of the information, it claimed, was already publicly available and it subsequently refused to release it under s12 of the Act. The use of s19 was varied - set aside for the credit card statements, but affirmed for the diary entries. A refusal under s12 is not a reviewable decision under the Act.