Governance & Transparency

The Western Downs Regional Council Governance Framework(PDF, 395KB)  has been developed to provide an understanding in relation to accountability and responsibility, and the roles and functions of Council in accordance with the local government principles.


The Framework is not a policy or statement of intent, but a document which outlines Council's governance policies and practices. For Council to continue to demonstrate good governance there needs to be a clear understanding of the structural elements and associated governance and control mechanisms in place. These structural elements are set in place by legislation, Council and the Executive in order to set strategic direction and drive organisational culture and values for good governance at Western Downs Regional Council.

About Right to Information and Privacy

Right to Information and Information Privacy

Right to Information was introduced by the Queensland Government to give the community greater access to information.

The Right to Information Act 2009 gives the community the right to access information held by government, including Council, unless the information is exempt or contrary to the public interest.

The Information Privacy Act 2009 governs how government manages personal information and guides how people can access their personal information and advise Council of changes to it.

Right to Information aims to:

  • make more information available
  • provide equal access to information across the community
  • protect an individual’s personal information.


Council will take all reasonable and appropriate steps to protect the personal information of individuals as required by Information Privacy Act 2009 and the associated Information Privacy Principles contained in that Act.

For further information, please refer to Council's Privacy Policy(PDF, 280KB) .

If you think Council has breached your privacy, you may lodge a privacy complaint with Council.  Council will investigate your complaint and provide you with a response.  If you are not satisfied with Council's response, you may make a complaint to the Office of the Information Commissioner Queensland.

More Information

For more information about Right to Information and Information Privacy:-


Accessing Council Information

How to access information

Council provides information to the public about its business, activities and services. Much of this information is in documents which make up Council's Publication Scheme.

Publication Scheme

Information may be accessed online by:

  • browsing the seven groups of information in the Publication Scheme;
  • or using the site search at the top of each page.

If the information is not online, please contact Council to determine whether the information may be provided.

Disclosure log

Council's Disclosure log provides information that has been previously released in response to non-personal right to information requests made under the Right to Information Act 2009.

To obtain copies of any of the documents in Council’s Disclosure log  :

  • email a request to Council - ;
  • or send a written request to: Chief Executive Officer, Western Downs Regional Council, PO Box 551 Dalby QLD 4405

Accessing and amending your personal information

The Information Privacy Act 2009 (IP Act) allows individuals to apply for access to documents containing their personal information. 'Personal Information' is defined as "information or an opinion, including information or an opinion forming part of a database, whether true or not, and whether recorded in a material form or not, about an individual whose identity is apparent, or can reasonably be ascertained, from the information or opinion."

If an individual is making an IP Act access application, they will only receive documents containing their own personal information. The IP Act also allows a person to make an application to have their personal information amended if they believe it is incomplete, inaccurate, out of date or misleading. Please refer to Making an Application for more information about this process.

Publication Scheme

Council's Publication Scheme lists information which you can obtain from Council. The information is organised into seven groups. Most Queensland government web sites provide information in a similar way.

Accessing Information in the Publication Scheme

Where possible these documents are available for download from Council’s website. If you are having difficulty accessing any documents, please contact council to request access to documents in another suitable format. Information listed in the Publication Scheme is generally available free of charge from our website. For requests for large volumes of material or other special requests, charges may be payable. Customers will be advised in advance of any charges payable before a request is processed.

About us

Who we are and what we do

Our services

Information about the services we deliver, including advice and guidance, publications, newsletters and media releases.

Our finances

What we spend and how we spend it, including our financial statements and financial management practices

Our priorities

Council's priorities and how well we are meeting those priorities

Our decisions

The outcomes of decision-making processes

Our policies

Policy and policy-related documents

Our lists and registers

Information that is held in a register required by law or another list or register relating to the functions of Council.

Council has a number of registers that are available for people to inspect listed below. To arrange for an inspection, please contact Council.

Enquiries and complaints about the Publication Scheme

Your comments are highly valued and any feedback you provide will be used to make improvements to the Publication Scheme. If you wish to provide feedback to improve our Publication Scheme please contact Council.

Making an Application

The Acts provide the formal basis to request access to Council information that is not publicly available. Requests for access to documents under the Right to Information (RTI) and Information Privacy (IP) legislation exclude documents that are readily available by other means. For example, minutes of Council meetings are mostly readily available public documents, which can be accessed by the community. Before making a formal Right to Information application, check Council’s website or contact Council about the location and availability of information.

The following Acts offer a formal way to request access to council information that is not publicly available.

Applying for Access

For documents that are not available via other avenues of access, applications need to be made in writing by downloading and completing an application form.

The completed application form must be addressed and forwarded to:

RTI Officer

Western Downs Regional Council

PO Box 551

Dalby QLD 4405


All applications must:

  • clearly identify the specific documents requested or provide sufficient information about the documents, to enable the RTI Officer to identify the documents being sought;
  • be in the approved form and accompanied by the application fee (if applicable);
  • state an address to which notices under the Acts may be sent;
  • if you are seeking access to your personal information, provide evidence of your identity within ten (10) business days; and
  • if you are an agent applying on behalf of someone else, provide evidence of your identity and evidence of your authorisation (eg. court order) within ten (10) business days.

To find out more about Right to Information, visit the Queensland Government website.

Fees and charges for accessing information

Access to documents that are not related to an individual's personal information will incur an application fee and possibly processing charges, for each 15 minutes or part thereof, if the time spent dealing with the application is more than 5 hours.  

Applications under the RTI Act (whether non-personal or coupled with a request for personal information) incur the following charges:

  • $55.75 application fee;
  • $34.60 per hour ($8.65 per 15 minutes or part there of) processing charge for applications taking longer than 5 hours to process; and
  • $0.25 per A4 page access charges.

No application fee or processing charges are incurred for access to documents or parts of documents that relate to an individual's personal information, but access charges may be payable. Examples of personal information are described below. However, documents which contain both personal information and non-personal information will incur an application fee and processing and access charges as detailed above.

What is personal information?

Personal information is information or an opinion about an individual whose identity is apparent, or can reasonably be ascertained from the information or opinion. Examples of personal information include:

  • a person's name, address, phone number or email address;
  • a photograph of a person;
  • the fact that a person is a member, or leader, of an association and their attendance at meetings;
  • a person's medical details or health information;
  • details about a person's religious or sexual preferences; or
  • details about a person's membership of a trade union or professional body.
Processing Timeframes

Council is required to process your application within 25 business days of receiving a valid application.  This timeframe can be extended in some circumstances, for example where Council needs to consult with a third party, or Council requests additional time to consider the application.

Amend Personal Information

If you wish to amend the personal information that Western Downs Regional Council holds about you, please lodge a request by downloading and completing the Information Privacy Personal Amendment Application form and forward to:

Western Downs Regional Council

PO Box 551 DALBY Q 4405


There are no application fees or processing charges for a personal information amendment under the IP Act. If you have had access to a document that contains your personal information that is inaccurate, incomplete, out-of-date or misleading, please ensure that your application specifies:

  • what particulars you wish amended;
  • why you believe the information to be incomplete, incorrect, out-of-date or misleading;
  • the amendments you wish to make; and
  • your address and telephone number so you can be advised of the result of your application.

Disclosure Log

Council’s disclosure log provides details of non-personal information released under the Act and provides access to information given out in response to a non-personal legislative application:

  • A disclosure log  is another method that enables the public to access information.
  • The log contains information released through formal, non-personal Right to Information requests. It ensures that any information given out in response to a legislative application is made available to a wider public, not just the person that requested it.
  • View Council’s disclosure log  .

If you are seeking information detailed in Council's disclosure log  , please contact Council to discuss whether the information is able to be released under our administrative access:

Western Downs Regional Council
PO Box 551
DALBY Q 4405
Telephone: 1300 COUNCIL (1300 268 624)

Applying for Complaint Documents

This information is intended to assist people who were involved in a complaint and are now applying to access documents about, or arising out of, that complaint. It applies both to people who made a complaint and to people who were complained about. It does not apply to documents arising out of a workplace investigation.

Will I get access to the documents?

You are not likely to be given access to all the documents you ask for. You will likely get access to documents that contain only your personal information and to procedural documents.

Personal information of other people

Other people’s personal information (such as any information which identifies the complainants) is generally considered to be contrary to the public interest to disclose and you are not likely to get access to that.

Releasing someone else’s personal information (such as other people’s observations, opinions, concerns or recollections) or information which infringes their right to privacy has been found to be contrary to the public interest. You may be refused access to this sort of information. Personal information of other people will include information which enables you to work out who made the complaint and therefore it is very unlikely that you will be given access to this information.

In some circumstances it will not be possible to separate your personal information from the personal information of other people. An example of this may be a complaint containing the thoughts and feelings of the complainant about an incident or situation which you were involved in. If it is not possible to separate personal information, access to all of the personal information, yours and the other person's, may be refused. This means that you may not receive a complainant’s complaint letter, even where it is a complaint made against you.

Confidential sources of information

Anything that would reveal a confidential source of information which relates to the enforcement or administration of the law is exempt information. When considering complaint documents the Council may have to consider if the documents you have applied for would reveal the existence or the identity of a confidential source of information. If so, you are likely to be refused access to the information.

Prejudice the flow of information

It has also been previously decided that releasing information that could prejudice the flow of confidential information to government is contrary to the public interest. For example, where witnesses or complainants understand that the information they provide to investigators will be held in confidence and they would be less likely to provide that information in the future if it is released, that sort of information may not be disclosed.

What about accountability in conducting investigations?

There will often be a broad public interest in the Council being accountable to the public for its actions. It is necessary, however, for the facts in each case to be considered to decide whether the interest in accountability is:

  • favoured by disclosing the information in question;
  • strong enough to outweigh the specific factors against disclosure.

In most cases, the broad general interest in accountability has not been found sufficient to outweigh the above factors against disclosure.

 Information sourced from: Office of the Information Commissioner Queensland