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The Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Cth) does not apply to all documents, some documents are exempt [s 11]. For example:

  • documents affecting national security, defence, international relations [s 33];
  • Cabinet documents [s 34];
  • documents affecting the enforcement of the law and public safety [s 37];
  • documents to which specified secrecy laws apply [s 38];
  • documents subject to legal professional privilege [s 42];
  • documents containing material obtained in confidence [s 45];
  • documents, disclosure of which would be contempt of court or Parliament [s 46];
  • documents disclosing trade secrets or commercially valuable information [s 47];
  • electoral rolls and related documents [s 47A].

In addition, there is a further category of exemptions where information may be released if it can be shown not to be contrary to the public interest. This includes:

  • documents affecting relations with the States and the Commonwealth [s 47B];
  • documents concerning deliberative processes [s 47C];
  • documents relating to financial or property interests of the Commonwealth [s 47D];
  • documents relating to certain operations of agencies [s 47E];
  • documents relating to personal privacy [s 47F];
  • research documents [s 47H];
  • documents relating to personal professional business affairs [s 47G];
  • documents concerning the economy [s 47J].
Exemptions  :  Last Revised: Mon Oct 20th 2014
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