Freedom of Information

Victoria's Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act) gives members of the public the right to apply for access to information held by ministers, State Government departments, local councils, public hospitals, most semi-government agencies and statutory authorities.

The VFA complies with the FOI Act and has an identified Freedom of Information contact which can answer any questions you may have relating to FOI and the authority.

How do I lodge a FOI request?

It is important to first contact the authority’s FOI contact to confirm whether a formal request for information is required as it may already be available in the Annual Report or on this website.

To lodge an online Freedom of Information (FOI) request, use the contact details below.

Your letter or application form should:

  • clearly set out the document(s) you require from the VFA, and
  • provide sufficient detail to enable the document(s) to be identified.

What is a valid request?

An FOI request must meet three requirements to be valid:

  • your request must be in writing;
  • you must provide enough information about the documents you are requesting so the VFA can identify and locate the documents; and

you must either:

  • pay the application fee; or
  • request the VFA to waive or reduce the application fee if paying it would cause you hardship. A request is not valid until the VFA waives the application fee or you pay the reduced fee.

What should I consider before making an FOI request?

Before you make an FOI request:

Is the information you need in a document?

Generally, you can’t request information that does not exist in an existing document, or is an answer to a question. An FOI request must be for information contained in documents held by an VFA.

Have you confirmed the VFA has the document you seek?

Contact the VFA to confirm if it has the document before making your request.

Have you gone through Step 1 to check whether the document can be accessed without making an FOI request?

The document may be publicly available on the VFA’s website. Alternatively, the VFA may have a different process to allow you to obtain the document informally without needing to make an FOI request.

Why do you want access to the document or information?

Consider telling us why you are seeking access to the document or information, or if you plan to use the document or information for a specific purpose. This may assist the VFA to consider whether it can informally release the document or information to you without the need for an FOI request.

What is the cost of lodging a request?

All FOI requests are subject to a $31.80 application fee (as at 1 July 2023). This fee is subject to an increase on 1 July every year. The fee may be waived in cases where payment would cause an applicant financial hardship. Where an applicant seeks a waiver of this fee, the request should indicate the grounds on which a waiver is being sought (for example, low income or holder of Commonwealth Health Care Card).

Access charges may also apply once documents have been processed and a decision on access made for example, 20c per A4 page photocopying charge and a $20.675 per hour or part of an hour search and retrieval charge. It should be noted that, under certain circumstances, some of these charges can be waived.


To lodge a FOI request directly to the VFA in writing, or for information on completing and lodging a request under the FOI Act, contact the FOI Officer, VFA:

By the FOI Officer will provide direct deposit details.

By post:
VFA Freedom of Information Officer
Victorian Fisheries Authority
GPO Box 4509, Melbourne VIC 3001

Enclosing cheque for $31.80 made out to: Victorian Fisheries Authority