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View of the Former Marine Biological Station from Camp Cove beach.

Freedom of information

Understand your rights under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 and learn about the information released by the Harbour Trust.

This page provides an overview of your rights under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act) together with details of information released by the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust (Harbour Trust) pursuant to Freedom of Information (FOI) requests.

This page also satisfies our requirement under the information Publication Scheme (IPS) to publish a broad range of information our website.

For more information, including access to the Harbour Trust’s information or documents under the FOI Act, contact our FOI Contact Officer on (02) 8969 2100 or by email at

    Your rightsarrow

    The FOI Act gives any person the right to:

    • access copies of documents (except exempt documents) we hold
    • ask for information we hold about you to be changed or annotated if it is incomplete, out of date, incorrect or misleading, and
    • seek a review of our decision not to allow you access to a document or not to amend your personal record.

    You can ask to see any document that we hold. We can refuse access to some documents, or parts of documents that are exempt. Exempt documents may include those relating to national security, documents containing material obtained in confidence and Cabinet documents, or other matters set out in the FOI Act.

    How to make a request

    Your request must:

    • be in writing
    • state that the request is an application for the purposes of the FOI Act
    • provide information about the document(s) to assist us to process your request
    • provide an address for reply.

    By post:

    FOI Contact Officer
    Harbour Trust
    PO Box 607, Mosman NSW 2088, Australia

    By email:

    If you ask a third party to make an FOI request on your behalf, you need to provide a specific, written authority to send copies of documents to you, care of that person, or to allow that person to inspect copies of documents containing information about you.

    If you require assistance with your request, please contact the FOI Contact Officer by email at

    Fees and charges

    There is no application fee for an FOI request. There are no processing charges for requests for access to documents containing only personal information about you. However, processing charges may apply to other requests. The most common charges are:

    Activity Charge
    Search and retrieval: time we spend searching for or retrieving a document. $15.00 per hour
    Decision making: time we spend in deciding to grant or refuse a request, including examining documents, consulting with other parties, and making deletions. First five hours: Nil
    Subsequent hours: $20.00 per hour
    Transcript: preparing a transcript from a sound recording, shorthand or similar medium. $4.40 per page of transcript
    Photocopy $0.10 per page
    Inspection: supervision by an agency officer of your inspection of documents or hearing or viewing an audio or visual recording at our premises. $6.25 per half hour (or part thereof)
    Delivery: posting or delivering a copy of a document at your request. Cost of postage or delivery

    If we decide to impose a charge, we will give you a written estimate and the basis of our calculation. Where the estimated charge is between $20 and $100, we may ask you to pay a deposit of $20, or where the estimated charge exceeds $100, we may ask you to pay a 25% deposit before we process your request.

    You can ask for the charge to be waived or reduced for any reason, including financial hardship or on the grounds of public interest. If you do so, you should explain your reasons and you may need to provide some evidence.

    What you can expect from us

    We will tell you within 14 days that we have received your request. We will also give you an estimate of the charges that apply to your request. We will give you our decision within 30 days unless that time has been extended. If a document contains information about a third party, we will need to consult them and may need to extend the time to give you our decision by another 30 days. We may also seek your agreement to extend the time by up to 30 days if your request is complex.

    Review Processes

    If you disagree with our decision

    When we have made a decision about your FOI request, we will send you a letter explaining our decision and your review and appeal rights.

    You can ask for the following decisions to be reviewed:

    • if we refuse to give you access to all or part of a document or if we defer giving you access
    • if we impose a charge
    • if we refuse to change or annotate information about you that you claim is incomplete, incorrect, out of date or misleading.

    A third party who disagrees with our decision to give you documents that contain information about them can also ask for our decision to be reviewed.

    Internal review

    You can request in writing that we reconsider our decision through an internal review. An internal review will be conducted by another officer in our agency. We will advise you of our new decision within 30 days of receiving your request.

    Information Commissioner review

    You can ask the Australian Information Commissioner to review our original decision or our decision on internal review within 60 days of the date of decision (or 30 days after you are notified if you are an affected third party). The Information Commissioner can affirm or vary the decision or substitute a new decision. The Information Commissioner may decide not to conduct a review in certain circumstances. More information is available at the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) website at


    If you are unhappy with the way we have handled your request, you can complain to the Australian Information Commissioner who may investigate our actions. More information is available on the OAIC's website at

    The Commonwealth Ombudsman can also investigate complaints about our actions. However, the Commonwealth Ombudsman and the Information Commissioner will consult to avoid the same matter being investigated twice.

    Further information

    If you require further information, please contact the Harbour Trust’s FOI Contact Officer on 02-89692100 or by email at


    FOI disclosure logarrow

    Subsection 11C (3) of the FOI Act requires agencies to publish on their websites details of information released pursuant to FOI requests received by them.

    The disclosure log requirement does not apply to:

    • personal information about any person if publication of that information would be 'unreasonable';
    • information about the business, commercial, financial or professional affairs of any person if publication of that information would be 'unreasonable';
    • other information covered by a determination made by the Australian Information Commissioner if publication of that information would be 'unreasonable';
    • any information if it is not reasonably practicable to publish the information because of the extent of modifications that would need to be made to delete the information listed in the above dot points.

    In accordance with those requirements, summaries of information/documents released by the Harbour Trust are set out below

    Please note: A document published on the disclosure log may be an edited version of the document originally provided to an applicant because of an exception in s 11C (1) of the FOI Act.

    Anyone wishing to obtain copies of these documents should do so by contacting the FOI Officer at the following address:

    Summary of documents released

    FOI reference number Date of access Scope of request Information published in disclosure log
    SH2011/0331 19/1/2012 Information on the evaluation process for the Platypus Wharf repair works tender. Full access to the applicants comparative tender evaluation results was provided.
    SH2013/0039 6/3/2013 Document relating to decision to cancel Outpost 2013 Street Art Event. 5 documents with 3 released in full and 2 edited copies.
    14/009177 24/9/2014 Documents relating to HMAS Platypus. 1 document released with personal information redacted and 4 documents refused access.
    15/017829 10/12/2015 Documents relating to DA plans for Building 20 Chowder Bay. 7 documents released in full.
    17/004749 1/9/2017 Documents relating to Environmental Assessments for North Head Sanctuary, Manly NSW. 20 documents released in full; 41 documents released in part.
    17/005390 19/10/2017 Tenancy information for Building 26, Georges Heights Training Command Precinct. 26 documents released in part.
    2019/0001 03/05/2019 Email Correspondence 1 document released in part
    2019/002 23/5/2019 Sub-Base Platypus information 19 documents released in full; 4 documents released in part; 5 exempt in full
    2021/0001 31/3/2021 Documents relating to A/C, refrigeration installations, various sites 1 document released in part;
    16 documents exempt in full



    Tour booking query

    6 documents released in full with information outside the scope of the request removed



    Fact Finding Report

    1 document released in part



    Marina / Shipyard facilities – passing rentals

    1 document released in part



    Response to Robodebt related material between 1/07/23 - 31/12/2023

    4 documents released in part

    Information Publication Scheme arrow

    Part II of the FOI Act establishes the Information Publication Scheme (IPS) for Australian government agencies subject to the FOI Act, including the Harbour Trust. The IPS commenced on 1 May 2011 and requires the Harbour Trust to publish a broad range of information on its website, and to make that information available online where possible. For more information about the Information Publication Scheme, visit the OAIC website.

    The Harbour Trust’s IPS Agency Plan (see below) describes how we propose to meet our requirement to comply with the IPS requirements. In addition to what is outlined in our IPS Agency Plan, we address on this page the following nine categories of information required by the FOI Act:

    • details of the agency's structures
    • details of the agency's functions
    • details of statutory appointments of the agency
    • the agency's annual reports
    • details of consultation arrangements for members of the public to comment on specific policy proposals
    • information in documents to which the agency routinely gives access in response to requests under the FOI Act
    • information that the agency routinely provides to Parliament
    • details of an officer (or officers) who can be contacted about access to the agency's information or documents under the FOI Act
    • the agency's operational information (which is information that assists the agency to exercise its functions or powers in making decisions or recommendations that affect members of the public. This includes the agency's rules, guidelines, practices and precedents relating to those decisions and recommendations.)


    IPS Agency Plan

    Section 8(1) of the FOI Act imposes an obligation on the Harbour Trust to publish an IPS Agency Plan, which describes how we propose to comply with the IPS requirements. Our IPS Agency Plan is required to set out the following information:

    • the information the Harbour Trust proposes to publish under the IPS;
    • how, and to whom, the Harbour Trust proposes to publish the information, and
    • other steps the Harbour Trust will take to comply with the IPS requirements.



    Who We are

    This section provides information on the structure and organisation of the Harbour Trust, including statutory appointments.

    What we do

    This section provides access to information about the functions and powers of the Harbour Trust

    Our reports and responses to Parliament

    Consultation arrangements

    This section provides access to information on community involvement and community consultation processes.

    Routinely requested information

    The Harbour Trust will publish the information it releases to FOI applicants as part of its FOI Disclosure log, published on this page.

    Operational information

    The Harbour Trust publishes on its website a wide range of information used by the agency to assist in the exercise of its functions and powers in making decisions or recommendations that affect members of the public. This information includes (but is not limited to) agency rules, guidelines, practices and precedents, and policy documents.

    Contact us

    If you have a question or would like to give feedback on any aspect of the IPS or the information published, you can contact us by email at, phone or by mail with the details on our contact us page.