Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 No 52
54 Consultation on public interest considerations
(1) An agency must take such steps (if any) as are reasonably
practicable to consult with a person before providing access to information
relating to the person in response to an access application if it appears
(a) the information is of a kind that requires consultation under this
(b) the person may reasonably be expected to have concerns about the
disclosure of the information, and
(c) those concerns may reasonably be expected to be relevant to the
question of whether there is a public interest consideration against
disclosure of the information.
(2) Information relating to a person is of a kind that requires
consultation under this section if the information:
(a) includes personal information about the person,
(b) concerns the person’s business, commercial, professional or
financial interests, or
(c) concerns research that has been, is being, or is intended to be,
carried out by or on behalf of the person, or
(d) concerns the affairs of a government of the Commonwealth or
another State (and the person is that government).
Note. The requirement to consult extends to consultation with other
agencies and other governments. See the definition of person in Schedule
(2A) If the agency considers that information about a person consulted
under this section is likely to be included in the agency’s disclosure
log in relation to the access application, the agency must give a written
notice to the person containing the following statements:
(a) that information concerning the application will be included in
the agency’s disclosure log and that the person can object to
(b) that there is a right of review under Part 5 of a decision by the
agency to include information in its disclosure log despite the person’s
(3) If consultation is required concerning the release of personal
information about a deceased person, that consultation is to be done by
consultation with a close relative of the deceased.
(4) The purpose of consultation under this section is to ascertain
whether the person has an objection to disclosure of some or all of the
information and the reasons for any such objection.
(5) The agency must take any objection to disclosure of information
that the agency receives in the course of consultation into account in the
course of determining whether there is an overriding public interest against
disclosure of government information.
(6) If consultation establishes that a person objects to the
disclosure of information but the agency decides to provide access to the
information in response to the application, access is not to be provided until
the agency has first given the objector notice of the agency’s decision
to provide access to the information and notice of the objector’s right
to have that decision reviewed, and is not to be provided while review rights
on the decision are pending.
(7) Review rights on a decision are pending while the objector is
entitled to apply for a review of the decision under Part 5 (ignoring any
period that may be available by way of extension of time to apply for review),
or any review duly applied for is pending.