The Freedom of Information Act 1982 (the FOI Act) gives people a right of access to information held a range of organisations including cemetery trusts.
Types of documents held by Ballarat Cemeteries
Ballarat Cemeteries hold a range of documents relating to the operation of its cemeteries and crematoria, including those acquired from former Cemetery Trusts administering the cemeteries prior to amalgamation. This includes records relating to:
- Cremations and interments
- Governance and administration of Ballarat Cemeteries
- Construction and maintenance records relating to cemetery structures
- Land acquisition and management
- You have a right to apply for access to documents held by the Ballarat Cemeteries including, but not limited to, the following documents:
- Documents relating to your own personal affairs (such as your ownership of a Right of Interment)
- Documents of a non-personal nature which are not older than 5 July 1978
- Access may be refused in some circumstances
- Access to part or all of some documents may be refused if deemed to be ‘exempt’ in line with the principles of the FOI Act. Information is most typically exempted because it:
- Relates to the personal affairs of another person;
- is commercially confidential; or
- contains information supplied in confidence.
An application fee of $29.62 is generally required to constitute a valid application. Please make payment with your application, either by enclosing a cheque/money order with your application or ring and make payment via credit card over the phone.
Ballarat Cemeteries may agree to waive the application fee if you can demonstrate that payment of the application fee would cause you hardship.
In addition to the application fee, charges may also be incurred for:
- Search time in locating documents
- Providing written transcripts of a recorded document
- Supervising your inspection of documents
If the charges relating to your request are expected to be more than $50.00, Ballarat Cemeteries will notify you of this in writing and you may be required to pay a deposit before work continues. You can request that the access charges be waived or reduced and Ballarat Cemeteries will consider this when processing your request.
Request access to documents under the FOI Act
- Please complete the Freedom of Information (FOI) application form (available below) or prepare a letter clearly outlining the details of your request and stating that you are making a Freedom of Information request.
- If you wish to request waiver of the application fee please include this in your application along with supporting evidence (such as a concession or pension card).
- If you are seeking access to documents relating to your own personal affairs, please attach proof of your identity (e.g. driver’s licence, passport or Health Care card).
- Hand deliver or mail the request and application fee.
Freedom of Information officer
The Ballarat Cemeteries, 1250 Doveton Street North, Invermay Park Vic 3350 or to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Your request becomes valid once it has been received, together with the application fee and accompanying proof of identity documentation (if required),
- Once your valid FOI application has been received, Ballarat Cemeteries will acknowledge your request and may also seek to clarify aspects of your request.
- Ballarat Cemeteries will respond to you in writing outlining its decision no later than 30 days from the date your request was received.
- The FOI Act provides for this time period to be extended in some circumstances but we would notify you if this were to occur.
Download a Freedom of Information application form
Correction of personal records
You have the right to request the correction or amendment of information about you held by the Ballarat Cemeteries and which you believe is inaccurate, incomplete, out of date, or misleading. A request to amend documents must be made in writing with details of why the information is considered incorrect. Please note that you may be required to provide evidence to support your request.
A decision in relation to a request to amend personal records must be made no later than 30 days from the date the request was received.
Can I request a review of my FOI decision?
If you are not satisfied with the decision, you have the right to seek a review from the Office of the Victorian Information Commissioner.
If the request involves health information, you can also contact the Health Services Commissioner.
For more information visit the Victorian Government’s Office of the Victorian Information Commissioner website.