Freedom of information (FOI)

The Liquor Commission makes information available promptly and at the least possible cost.

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It is the aim of the Liquor Commission to make information available promptly and at the least possible cost, and whenever possible documents will be provided outside the FOI process.

If information is not routinely available, the Freedom of Information Act 1992 provides the right to apply for documents held by the agency and to enable the public to ensure that personal information in documents is accurate, complete, up to date and not misleading.

Freedom of Information Act 1992

The Freedom of Information Act 1992 (the Act) gives people a general right of access to documents held by Ministers, State Government departments, local authorities and statutory authorities. These bodies are called agencies in the Act. The Liquor Commission of Western Australia, as a statutory authority is an 'agency' for the purposes of that Act.

Access to documents can be granted by way of inspection, a copy of a document, a copy of an audio or video tape, a computer disk, a transcript of a recorded, shorthand or encoded document from which words can be reproduced.

A document is defined as meaning any record or part of record and any copy or reproduction. It therefore covers files, computer printouts, maps, plans, photographs, tape recordings, films, video tapes or electronically stored information.

There are exemptions for some documents including protection of essential public interest, the personal or business affairs of others or the deliberative processes of government.

Sometimes access to only part of a document will be provided if it contains information considered to be exempt.


Applications are to be made:

  • in writing
  • with enough information so that the documents requested can be identified
  • with an Australian address to which notices can be sent
  • with any other information or details required under the regulations
  • be lodged at the agency with any applicable application fee payable.

Application forms can be lodged by post, email or in person to:

The Liquor Commission
Freedom of Information Officer
Level 1, 87 Adelaide Terrace PO Box 6119
East Perth WA 6892

Telephone 61 8 9425 1885

Applications will be acknowledged in writing and you will be notified of the decision within 45 days.

Fees and charges

A scale of fees and charges have been set under Schedule 1 of the Freedom of Information Regulations 1993.

These charges are as follows:

Freedom of information fees and charges
Personal information about the applicantNo fee
Application fee (for non personal information)$30
Time taken by staff dealing with an application (per hour or pro rata)$30
Access time supervised by staff (per hour or pro rata)$30
Photocopying staff time (per hour or pro rata)$30
Per photocopy$0.20
Time taken by staff transcribing information from a tape or other device (per hour, or pro rata for a part of an hour)$30
Duplicating a tape, file or computer informationActual cost
Delivery, packaging and postageActual cost
Advance deposit which may be required by an agency under Section 18 (1) of the Act, expressed as a percentage of the estimated charges which will be payable in excess of the application fee25%
Further advance deposit which may be required by an agency under Section 18 (4) of the Act, expressed as a percentage of the estimated charges which will be payable in excess of the application fee75%

For financially disadvantaged applicants or those issued with prescribed pensioner concession cards, the charge payable is reduced by 25%.

Notice of decision

Agencies must give access applicants a written reason if applications are refused or applicants are only given partial access. Rights of review will be advised in the notice of decision.

The notice of decision should issue within 45 days of the date of lodgement of the access application. The notice of decision will include details such as:

  • the date the decision was made
  • the name and designation of the officer who made the decision
  • if the document is an exempt document the reasons for classifying the matter exempt; or the fact that access is given to an edited document
  • information on the right of review and the procedures to be followed to exercise those rights.

Pursuant to section 100 of the Freedom of Information Act, the following Officers have been appointed as decision makers in respect to FOI applications within the Department of Racing, Gaming and Liquor:

Decision makers are responsible for the operation of FOI within their respective divisions.

Appealing the decision

Internal review of FOI decision

Refusal of Access

Applicants who are dissatisfied with an FOI decision of the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries are entitled to seek an internal review by the agency. Applications should be made within 30 days of receiving the notice of decision.

An internal review may be sought when:

  • an access applicant has been given access to an edited copy of a document
  • the agency has refused to deal with the application
  • the agency has refused access to a document
  • an applicant has been given access to a document but access has been deferred
  • an access applicant believes the agency has charged too much or the costs are unreasonable
  • a third party mentioned in the documents has not been consulted about giving access to another person
  • a third party has been consulted, but disagrees with a decision to release the documents.
Internal review

Applications for internal review should be made in writing, direct to the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries. Applications should include details of the decision you want reviewed and provide an address in Australia to which notices can be sent.

Applications for internal review must be lodged within 30 days of receiving written notice of the original decision.

The internal review process

An officer who is senior to the person who made the original decision will determine applications for internal review. The internal reviewer for the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries is the Executive Director.

Applicants will be notified of the outcome of the review within 15 days.

There is no charge for an internal review.

External Review of FOI Decision

External review

A person who disagrees with the result of an internal review can then apply to the Information Commissioner for an external review. Details of the external review process will be advised to applicants when the internal review decision is issued.

The Information Commissioner is an independent external review authority established under the FOI Act, to investigate and review decisions of agencies and Ministers.

The external review process

A complaint must be made in writing to the Information Commissioner and must supply an address to which notices can be sent.

A complaint must give particulars of the decision to be reviewed and attach a copy of the decision and reasons given to you by the agency.

The application can be made in a letter or on the application form provided by the Information Commissioner. There is no charge for review by the Information Commissioner.

What sort of decisions can the Information Commissioner review?

Any FOI decision made by the department about an access application. Specifically, the Information Commissioner can review decisions:

  • not to amend personal information
  • not to make a notation or attachment to the information if requested by the applicant
  • a decision of the Premier to issue an exemption certificate, but only by determining whether reasonable grounds existed for the issue of such a certificate.
Time limits applying to Review by the Information Commissioner

Original access applicants have 60 days after being given notice of the decision to complain to the Information Commissioner and seek a review.

Third parties affected by a decision of this agency have 30 days to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner.

In some circumstances, the Information Commissioner may allow complaints to be lodged after these time periods have elapsed.

How the Information Commissioner reviews complaints

The Information Commissioner will decide on the best way of dealing with a complaint. Usually this will involve inspecting the disputed documents and conferring with complainants, the agency and with any other parties in trying to find an acceptable solution.

The Information Commissioner may also seek further information, which may be required in written form.

Complainants will be given every opportunity to present their cases.

Complainants may be represented by a legal practitioner or by any other person if required to appear before the Commissioner.

Appealing a decision of the Information Commissioner

Decisions of the Information Commissioner are final except on a question of law arising out of any decision of the Commissioner.

Page reviewed 07 March 2024