Robert Vellacott and Devonport City Council (April 2022)

In October 2018, Mr Robert Vellacott made an application for assessed disclosure under the Right to Information Act 2009 (the Act) to the Devonport City Council seeking information about the Providore Place development (now re-named Market Square Pavillion). Council released a decision which provided some explanation of details regarding Council expenditure and contributions to the project, but refused under ss32 and 37 of the Act to provide the majority of information sought, including the signed lease agreement between it and Providore Place Devonport Pty Ltd, any amendments to that lease, and individual figures for fit-out of tenancies. This decision was affirmed on internal review on 24 December 2018. Mr Vellacott sought external review of the exemptions applied to the information and whether a sufficient search for information responsive to his request had been made by Council.

The Ombudsman determined that:

  • Exemptions claimed by Council pursuant to s32 of the Act  were varied, as the signed lease agreement was not exempt;
  • Exemptions claimed by Council pursuant to s37 of the Act were upheld; and
  • There had been a sufficient search for relevant information by Council.

Robert Vellacott and Devonport City Council