Accessing Information

Accessing Information

Under the Right to Information Act 2009, members of the public have a right to apply for access to, or copies of, documents held by Sunwater.

Before making an application for information, check whether the information that you are looking for is already available from:

  • Our Administrative Access Scheme – personal and non-personal information available for administrative access
  • Our Publication Scheme – information about Sunwater, our services, finances, priorities, decisions, policies, lists and registers
  • Our website

If the information is not already available, or you are unable to find it through the above sources, you can make a request by completing a RTI Application form and submitting it by fax or in person.

Information for applicants

Right to Access

The Right to Information Act 2009 (Qld) (the RTI Act) gives the public a right of access to documents held by Government Owned Corporations. It replaces the Freedom of Information Act 1992 (Qld), which will continue to apply for applications lodged before 1 July 2009. All applications received after this date will be dealt with under the RTI Act. As a Government owned corporation, Sunwater is committed to supporting the Queensland Government in this initiative by proactively making available information to the public through the Sunwater website and other appropriate means.

Requirement for an Application

An application made under the RTI Act for access to documents must be in writing in the approved form and accompanied by the application fee. The Application Form can be downloaded from the Queensland Government website ( and is available upon request. The Application Fee is also available on the Queensland Government website. If your application does not comply with the relevant application requirements, Sunwater will contact you within 15 business days to inform you of the deficiencies in your application. An application for access must contain sufficient information for Sunwater to identify the documents requested. Sunwater may need to obtain further information from you to locate the documents.

No Reasons Required

When requesting access to documents held by Sunwater, you are not required to give a reason for wanting to see the document. If access to the document is denied by Sunwater, you will be provided with a written explanation.

Definition of a Document

An application for access must be for a document in the possession, or under the control, of Sunwater whether or not brought into existence or received by Sunwater, and includes a document which Sunwater is entitled to accept or reject a document in the possession or control of an officer of Sunwater. The document must be in existence on the day the application is received.

Application Fee

If the request is for access to non-personal documents, an application fee is payable and must accompany the application. The application fee is available from the Office of Information Commissioner website. GST is not applicable to application fees. Payment can be by cheque, money order or cash. Cash should not be sent by post. Cheques and money orders should be made payable to “Sunwater Limited”. Sunwater does not accept credit card payments for RTI Access Applications.

Charges Estimate Notice – Processing Charge or Access Charge

Within 25 business days of receipt of an access application, Sunwater will issue a Charges Estimate Notice for the processing or access charges associated with the application. Sunwater is under a duty to keep all charges to a minimum. A processing charge will not be payable if the document contains information that is personal to the applicant. The charges may only be waived in certain circumstances. The charges must be waived if the applicant establishes that they are under financial hardship by way of documentary evidence:

The Individuals Criteria
The sole criterion prescribed for determining whether an individual is in financial hardship is whether the individual is the holder of a concession card. When claiming the waiver of the charge, an applicant must:

(a) provide the original concession card for an officer of Sunwater to photocopy and note that the original has been sighted; or
(b) provide a copy of the concession card certified by a Commissioner for Declarations, Justice of the Peace or Solicitor.

“Concession card” is defined to mean:

(c) a health care card or pensioner concession card issued under the Social Security Act 1991 (Cth); or
(d) a pensioner concession card issued by the Commonwealth Department of Veterans’ Affairs.

Non-Profit Organisations
”Non-profit organisation” means “an organisation that is not carried on for the profit or gain of its individual members”. Non-profit organisations may make a written application to the Information Commissioner to be given status as a non-profit organisation under financial hardship, which will remain in effect for 1 year.

Criteria: The criteria prescribed for determining whether a non-profit organisation is in financial hardship are:

(a) the nature and size of the organisation’s funding base; or
(b) the amount of the organisation’s liquid funds.

Access to Personal Documents

If an access application is made for access to a document containing your personal information, within 10 business days of making the application you must provide Sunwater with evidence of your identity. This proof will need to consist of:

(a) two documents verifying your identity, e.g. birth certificate, Medicare card and/or credit card; and
(b) photographic identification, e.g. a driver licence or passport.

Processing of Request

Processing a request takes time, so immediate access to documents is generally not given. Documents need to be located and a decision about access given. There are, however, statutory time limits within which requests will be dealt with. These, in summary, are outlined below:

(a) Sunwater must inform the applicant if an application is non-compliant with relevant application requirements within 15 business days; and
(b) Sunwater must provide the applicant with a Charges Estimate Notice and Schedule of Relevant Documents within 25 business days.

Notification of Decision

Sunwater will notify you of a decision regarding your access application within 25 business days.

Appealing a Decision – Internal Review

Pursuant to Chapter 3 Part 8 of the Right to Information Act 2009 (Qld) (the RTI Act), if you are a person affected by a reviewable decision you can apply to Sunwater for an Internal Review of its decision. A reviewable decision is defined in the Act.

To apply for an Internal Review of a decision you must write a letter or lodge an Internal Review application form within 20 business days the date of the decision. All Internal Review applications must be addressed to:

Right to Information Principal Officer
Sunwater Limited
PO Box 15536
City East Queensland 4002
Fax (07) 3120 0260

You must include an address to which notices under this Act may be sent to the applicant for internal review. Sunwater will undertake its Internal Review and advise you of its decision within 20 business days of receipt of your application or letter.

Appealing a Decision – External Review

If you are a person affected by a reviewable decision, you can also request an External Review by the Information Commissioner under Chapter 3 Part 9 of the Act. It is not necessary to have an Internal Review completed before applying for an External Review.

To apply for an External Review, you must apply to the Information Commissioner within 20 business days of the date of the written notice of the decision.

External Review requests to the Information Commissioner must be:

(a) in writing;
(b) specify an address for notification to be sent to you under the Act;
(c) give details of the decision for review; and
(d) be lodged at the office of the Information Commissioner. Further information is available from the Office of the Information Commissioner (

Disclosure Log

Our Disclosure Log provides details of non-personal information considered to be of wider public interest that has been released by Sunwater under the Right to Information Act 2009.

For access to the information listed below, please contact our Right to Information Coordinator

Phone 13 15 89

Sunwater Ref#Decision dateTopic/information requestedStatusApprox # of pages
SW RTI 23-001493/00118 Jan 24Documents held by Sunwater for the period January 2012 – July 2015 relating to the “reclassification” of Giru Weir and Val Bird Weir in June 2014 in particular who was the decision maker that approved the reclassification, justifiable reasons for the decision, correspondence with irrigators on reclassifying the weirs. The term “reclassification” refers to the suggested change of the classification of the above-mentioned weirs from “Bulk” to “Distribution” during the transfer evaluation process of assets from Sunwater to Local Management.Completed31
SW RTI 23-001247-00121/12/23Documents held by Sunwater for the period 1 March 2020 – 1 February 2021 relating to incidents and workplace health and safety involving Cutrite Commercial Pty Ltd an employee.Completed145
SW 22-001002/00129/08/22From 1 January 2019 to 30 July 2021, any of the follow types of documents that discuss land clearing at Prairie Station:

Correspondence (including records of meetings, emails, briefs and letters) with the landholder of Prairie Station or the federal environment department (variously known as Department of the Environment and Energy or Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment)
SW 21-001864/00115/11/21Gauging Data – All historical data in raw format:
• Station 130315D (Linkes Crossing) – level and flow
• Station 130377A (Callide Release Channel) – level and flow
• Station 130314C (Callide Dam Wall) – level
Water quality data – all historical data in raw format:
• Historical salinity and major ion chemistry of water stored in Callide Dam
SW 20-00186/0012/11/2020Investigations/findings/recommendations regarding the current structural stability and safety of Leslie Dam; structural upgrades recommended to be carried out on Leslie Dam over the next 10 yearsCompleted205
SWRTI 20-000976-00113/11/2020Documentation relating to construction works or augmentation of Kinchant DamCompleted5212
20-000728/00116/04/2020Submission for the Office of the Inspector-General Emergency Management (IGEM) on the 2019 Monsoon Trough Rainfall and Flood ReviewCompleted59
20-000245/00114/02/2020On-site visitor/sign in details for Paradise Dam, administered by Sunwater (for the period 1 January 2019-13 January 2020 Completed 20
19-002688/00105/12/2019Resignation letter of Nicole Hollows as CEO Completed 1
19-000493/00112/04/2019All correspondence between Sunwater and Townsville City Council in relation to the Ross River Dam Completed 938
SWRTI15-00417/07/2015Information regarding possible seepage at Kinchant Dam (Reports Only) Completed 3000
SWRTI15-00329/05/2015Callide Dam February 2015 Emergency Event Report Completed 591
SWRTI15-00120/04/2015Callide Dam Automatic Water Release 20 February 2015 Completed 500
SWRTI15-00208/04/2015Callide Dam Emergency Action Plan and Operation and Maintenance Manual Completed 479
SWRTI14-00201/06/2014Release of Water from Callide Dam 24 January to 1 March 2013 Completed 3300
SWRTI13-00303/06/2013Incident Callide Dam Wall between 1 January 2013 and 30 April 2013 Completed 257
SWRTI12-00829/01/2013Tinaroo Dam Releases for Hydro and Environment 1 July 2011 to June 30 2012 Completed 1
SWRTI12-00728/08/2012Operational Costs associated with Paradise Dam Reports dated November 2005 to June 2012 Completed 1
SWRTI12-00525/05/2012Paradise Dam Aquatic Ecosystem Monitoring Reports Completed 184
SWRTI12-00318/04/2012Analytical Results of Fluoride Chemicals added to Bamaga Water Completed 18
SWRTI10-00211/11/2010Water Pricing and Market Trading Policies, Procedures and Strategies Completed 24
SWRTI10-00307/12/2010Paradise Dam Fishway Monitoring Documentation Completed 215


Sunwater Internal Review

Right to Information Coordinator
Phone 13 15 89

Green Square North
Level 9, 515 St Pauls Terrace
Fortitude Valley, Queensland 4006

PO Box 15536 City East
Brisbane Queensland 4002

External Review

Office of Information Commission