Below is our freedom of information statement.

Information Statement

Right to access

The Western Australian Freedom of Information Act 1992 (FOI Act) gives the public the right to apply for access to documents held by Government agencies and local public authorities, including those of the Water Corporation.

The Water Corporation is required to assist you in obtaining access to documents sought at the lowest reasonable cost. Documents may be stored in diverse formats, ranging from paper files to electronically stored information. 

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

However, if information is not routinely available, the FOI Act provides the right for the public to apply for documents held by the Corporation and to ensure that personal information in documents is accurate.

Structure and functions of the Water Corporation

The Water Corporation supports the Minister for Water in performing their Government Trading Enterprise oversight functions under the Water Corporations Act 1995.

We are the principal supplier of water, wastewater and drainage services in Western Australia to hundreds of thousands of homes, businesses and farms, as well as providing bulk water to farms for irrigation.

Our services, projects and activities span over 2.6 million square kilometres. As well as our head office in Perth, we have regional offices in Bunbury, Albany, Karratha, Geraldton, Kalgoorlie and Northam and we employ 3,000 people. We deliver our services directly and through alliances, managing an asset base of over $15 billion in water supply, wastewater, drainage infrastructure and bulk water for irrigation.

We are owned by the Western Australian Government and accountable to the Minister for Water for delivery of our services in a commercial manner. Most of our surplus is returned to the government as a dividend to contribute to the development of the state, with the remainder reinvested in capital works. See our structure here.

Public participation in the performance of Water Corporation's functions

In performing its functions, the Water Corporation is committed to undertaking ongoing consultation with relevant government, industry and community stakeholders. The main channels of engagement and consultation include:

  • Public and targeted workshops and briefing sessions;
  • The publication of information on the water corporation website;
  • Written, public consultation on issue, information and recommendation papers, and draft regulatory instruments;
  • Presentations to stakeholder groups established by other organisations;
  • One-on-one meetings; and
  • Email communications to stakeholders.

Documents held by Water Corporation

Our records include information about the following functions and activities.

  • Correspondence received by the Water Corporation, related to the function.
  • Documents providing or leading to the development of water projects.
  • Meeting papers of the Executive team, Board and its consultation and working groups.
  • Information on water infrastructure in Western Australia.
  • Information on the financial and operational performance of the Water Corporation.
  • Information related to the management of supply disruptions.
  • Records related to the assessment of applications for water licence exemptions.
  • Corporate policies and procedures.

The Water Corporation holds the following kinds of documents on a routine basis:

  • Books;
  • Journals;
  • Magazines;
  • Newspapers;
  • Conference proceedings;
  • Serial publications;
  • Technical reports;
  • Internal reports;
  • Annual reports;
  • Maps;
  • CD-ROMS;
  • DVDs;
  • VHS videos;
  • Pamphlets;
  • Electronic journals;
  • Electronic books;
  • Online training tutorials;
  • Standards; and
  • Legislation.

The Rating Book is made available to the public by the Corporation under the Water Services (Water Corporations Charges) Regulations 2014.

Definition of a document

For the purposes of the FOI Act a document can be any record, part of record and any copy, reproduction or duplicate of a record. This includes letters, emails, maps, plans, photographs, tape recordings, films, video tapes and/or electronically stored information as well as files, notes and any form of paper document.

Exemptions

In some cases, documents may be exempt from release because the relevant information is genuinely sensitive and real harm will be caused by its disclosure. The exemptions are designed to strike a balance between the rights of applicants to disclosure of Government held documents and the need to protect the legitimate interests of Government and third parties who deal with Government. The exemptions listed in the FOI Act are based on the premise that disclosure of the information would:

  • Reveal personal information about an individual (whether living or dead);
  • Cause damage to business interests/Intergovernmental relations or law enforcement; or
  • Adversely affect the operations of agencies or their decision-making processes.

Requests for amendment of information

If you believe that personal information held by the Corporation is inaccurate, incomplete, out of date or misleading, you may apply to the Corporation requesting an amendment in accordance with s.46(1) of the FOI Act. The application must provide details and documentation in support of this.

In addition, applicants must indicate how they wish the amendment to be made within the options set out in the FOI Act namely:

  • Altering information;
  • Striking out or deleting information;
  • Inserting information; or
  • Inserting a notice in relation to information.

Access to documents

The Water Corporation publishes several documents related to its functions on its website including Annual Reports, Publications, Quarterly Performance Reports and Media releases. Documents not publicly available include Executive and Board documents, administration files, internal reports, working drafts, personnel files, official correspondence, electronic correspondence (emails), financial documents and contract files.

It is the aim of the Water Corporation to make information available promptly and at the least possible cost. Whenever possible, documents will be provided free of charge and outside the FOI process by contacting the Water Corporation by phone (13 13 85) or via our website.

If information is not routinely available, members of the public may apply to access documents under the general right of access created by the FOI Act.

How to make an application

An application made under the FOI Act for access to documents, amendment of personal information or review of a decision has to:

  • Be in writing;
  • Give enough information so that the documents requested may be identified;
  • Give an Australian address to which notices can be sent; and
  • Be lodged at the Corporation with any application fee payable ($30 per application for non-personal information).

The application may be in the form of a letter attached to our Freedom of Information application form.

Applications and enquiries should be addressed to:

The Freedom of Information Coordinator
Water Corporation
629 Newcastle Street 
LEEDERVILLE WA 6007

Email: foi@watercorporation.com.au

Applications will be acknowledged in writing.

Fees and charges

A scale of fees and charges are set under the Freedom of Information Regulations 1993. Apart from the application fee for non-personal information, all charges are discretionary and can be waived. The charges are as follows:

1. Type of fee
Personal information about the applicant No fee
Application fee (for non-personal information) $30.00
2. Type of charge
Charge for time dealing with the application (per hour or pro rata) $30.00
Charge for access time supervised by staff (per hour or pro rata)
$30.00
Photocopying staff time (per hour or pro rata) $30.00
Per photocopy
$0.20
Transcribing from tape, film or computer (per hour or pro rata) $30.00
Duplicating a tape, film or computer information Actual cost
Delivery, packaging and postage Actual cost
2. Deposits
 
 Advance deposit may be required of the estimated charges 25%
Further advance deposit may be required to meet the charges for dealing with the application 75%

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

Processing your request

Upon receipt of a valid FOI application, the Water Corporation will endeavour to decide whether to grant or refuse access to documents within the 45-calendar day period stipulated under the FOI Act. However, where necessary, an extension of time may be sought.

The Water Corporation may contact you to clarify the scope of your request.

Notice of decision

As soon as possible, and within 45 calendar days (unless an extension of time is sought), you will be provided with a Notice of Decision, which will include details such as:

  • The date on which the decision was made;
  • The name and the designation of the officer who made the decision;
  • If the document is an exempt document, the reasons for classifying the document as exempt;
  • If access is given to an edited document; and
  • Information on the rights to seek a review and the procedures to be followed to exercise those rights.

Access arrangements

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

Rights of review

Internal review

Applicants who are dissatisfied with a decision of the agency are entitled to ask for an internal review of the decision by the agency. The application for an internal review should be made in writing within 30 days of receiving the Notice of Decision. There are no charges for the conduct of reviews. The internal review will be conducted by an independent officer, who is not subordinate to the original decision maker.

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

External review

If you disagree with the result of the internal review, you can then apply to the Information Commissioner for an external review. Applications for external review should be made within 60 days of receiving the Notice of Internal Review Decision. The Information Commissioner will investigate the decision made by the Water Corporation.

More information

Office of the Information Commissioner Western Australia: www.oic.wa.gov.au

This Information Statement was prepared and correct as at June 2021.