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Tasmania - Legislation

Right to Information Act 2009 (2009 - )

Principal Act

The Right to Information Act 2009 came into effect on 1 July 2010. Its purpose was to improve democracy in Tasmania by providing easier access to information held by the government. Unlike the Personal Information Protection Act, which provides access to personal information, the Right to Information Act deals with the broader activities of government.


The Right to Information Act replaced the 1991 Freedom of Information Act.

Section 3 of the Right to Information Act states that its object is to:

improve democratic government in Tasmania -
(a) by increasing the accountability of the executive to the people of Tasmania; and
(b) by increasing the ability of the people of Tasmania to participate in their governance; and
(c) by acknowledging that information collected by public authorities is collected for and on behalf of the people of Tasmania and is the property of the State.

This object is to be achieved by giving members of the public the right to obtain information held by the government about its activities. Under the Act, members of the public are able to access the 'maximum' information as quickly and cheaply as possible.

Members of the public can access this information even if it:

  • concerns a person or was created by a person with a senior position within the government or public service.
  • might be confusing or easily misunderstood by the public.
  • could cause the public to lose confidence in the government.
  • could be misinterpreted by the applicant.

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Prepared by: Caroline Evans