How is Australia being protected from the threat of Islam?

Jim Gray made this Freedom of Information request to Department of Home Affairs

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

Department of Home Affairs did not have the information requested.

Dear Department of Immigration and Border Protection,
After watching the video on the link below, I wish to know what legislation is in place to protect Australians from the threat of Islam. I believe anyone with a low level of education and the propensity toward mental illness may be vulnerable to this organisation, especially the radical fringe.

We recently saw and act similar to the one in the video carried out in London. What steps are being taken to assure all Australians that this cannot happen here? Is there legislation in place that outlaws Sharia law being practiced in Australia? This is of vital importance to our domestic security.
[Link Removed by Right to Know Administrators]

The Right to Know email address is valid for the purposes of s.15(2)(c) of the FOI Act

Yours faithfully,

Jim Gray

Henare Degan left an annotation ()

This is vile. The administrators are having a discussion about what to do with this request, and most importantly the link. Here's what I said:

OK, it's fucking horrible but I can't [censor the link]. If people decide to click the link so be it, I did. I can't decide what people see.



Ben Fairless left an annotation ()

I'm similarly disgusted. For those who aren't aware, the link is for a video which allegedly depicts the beheading of an individual. It is uncensored, and not appropriate for viewing by children (or in my opinion, any decent human being).

I'm glad I hadn't eaten before watching it.

Ben Fairless left an annotation ()

The link in question has now been hidden due to it's content. Please email if you wish to discuss this further.

Jim Gray left an annotation ()

The video on the link is disgusting and I understand admin taking off. Unfortunately I have seen several similar videos so my request for information does not come at a whim. I have tried in the past, having had discussions with Muslim people, to be neutral and understand the religion better. Having now been exposed to so much information and pictorial evidence of where the religion (it is not a race so I am not being racist) leads its adherents I am determined to do whatever I can to protect Australia from this very serious threat to our families and freedom.


Our references: FA 14/03/00319; ADF2014/8021


Dear Mr Gray


I refer to your request for access to information, received on 6 March
2014, for:


I wish to know what legislation is in place to protect Australians from
the threat of Islam. 


Australian legislation is a publically available resource.

See: [1]

Or: [2]


A list of the portfolio legislation that applies to the Department of
Immigration and Border Protection is available at:


Information relating to Australian National Security is available at:


I hope this information is of assistance to you.


The department has not accepted your request as valid under the Freedom of
Information Act 1982 (FOI Act).  This is because your request is for
'information' and not for a document in the department's possession at the
time of your request.


Access to Documents

The right to request documents under the FOI Act is outlined in the
Guidelines published by the Office of the Australian Information
Commissioner (OAIC):


Section 11(1) of the FOI Act gives every person a legally enforceable
right to obtain access to a document of an agency or an official document
of a minister, unless the document is exempt. [para 2.1]


The right of access enshrined in the FOI Act applies to ‘documents’. This
term is defined in s 4(1) to include maps, photographs, and any article
from which sounds, images or writing are capable of being reproduced (for
example, emails). There is no general obligation on agencies to reduce
information to written documentary form in order to facilitate an FOI
request, except in relation to information that is stored on a computer
tape or disk (s 17). [para 1.26]


The right of access is to existing documents, rather than to information.
The FOI Act does not require an agency or minister to create a new
document in response to a request for access, except in limited
circumstances where the applicant seeks access in a different format (see
Part 8 of these Guidelines) or where the information is stored in an
agency computer system rather than in discrete form.

The right of access applies to documents that exist at the time the FOI
request was made. [para 3.8]


Therefore, any general request for 'information' or 'data' that does not
already exist in a document held by the department is considered an
invalid request.


The full Guidelines can be accessed on the OAIC's website at:


Your request has been closed as invalid.


Your Sincerely



FOI Inbox Manager

FOI & Privacy Policy Section
Department of Immigration and Border Protection

Email: [6][email address]



show quoted sections

Jim Gray left an annotation ()

What do I do with this??? The Parliament of Australian is so incompetent I have no doubt they will allow Sharia to be practiced here before long, if it is not already. Child sexual assault, assault, polygamy, murder are all instituted in Sharia law, and yet they have not acted to outlaw it in any way. Bloody country is lost because the Parliament of Australia is so corrupt and self focused. Every person for him/her self now.

Brian left an annotation ()

I don't think the FOI process is the best way to express your concerns Jim.

The bureaucrat went beyond what she had to. The response from the Department answered your question.

If you continue to have concerns, I suggest you take them up with your local MP in private.

Jim Gray left an annotation ()

Brian I know you are right. I was hoping that there was legislation in place and that they would have forwarded me a copy. I have looked through the legislation the Department suggested and there is nothing that stops any religious organisation from establishing their own state in Australia as far as I can see. An interesting offshoot to this exercise is that I now know that I can establish my own state with my own law here if I choose to, anyone can.
Thank you for your patience. I will make sure I am more specific in asking for a document in the future.

Locutus Sum left an annotation ()

A few things of note, in no particular order.

The decision maker was correct to refuse the request but the refusal is not based on a valid reason. Also, the refusal document from the person replying ("Janelle") is technically deficient. I shall explain. The applicant does not ask for “information”; the applicant asks for copies of relevant legislation. Also, s 12 of the Act does not say an applicant must use the words "document"; it says an applicant must "provide such information concerning the document as is reasonably necessary to enable a responsible officer of the agency, or the Minister, to identify it". There are gray areas because what is legislation "to protect Australians from the threat of Islam" is a thing for broad interpretation, so the decision maker could say that she could not identify the relevant documents from the information that she had from the applicant. It is thefore acceptable for her to refuse the request on the basis of non-conformity with s 12(2)(b) but if she makes that choice, then she has responsibilities and she failed to meet them. In fact she failed to meet them even with the refusal reason she chose. The responsibility is in s 15(3) where it says that the department must help an applicant to make their request in a way that meets the legislative requirements.

The more legally justified reason for refusal is because all legislation can be purchased "in accordance with arrangements made by the agency", and so because of s 12(1)(c), Part 3 of the FOI Act cannot apply. It would not matter if the applicant could identify the legislation accurately or not; a person cannot use the FOI Act to access it. But for people in Australia the view is very good because a person can find most legislation on Comlaw ( and also on the AustLii (

I did already say that it was an deficient response from the department and the person who made the reply could certainly have guessed that it was not adequate. She was required to tell you about your review rights and she did not. She will want to say that you had no review rights because the Act did not apply, and therefore, because the Act does not apply she did not have to tell you about reviews. But that is not true as it can be seen with clauses 7, 8 and 9 in Parnell and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport [2011] AICmr 3 ( and also in two decisions from AAT.

Now I make a step to a view of another nature.

The purpose of the Right to Know website is not to publish political debate (although a person can of course request documents that have a political reason). It is to make easy the way of getting documents using the Freedom of Information Act. It is therefore interesting that there was material included in the original request (the link for example) that was objectively irrelevant to the request; it was irrelevant because the reason for wanting a particular document cannot be (is prohibited to be) of any concern to the agency that is processing a request. Also, it was not like saying "The Prime Minister gave a speech to the Press Club on 10 January and I would like some documents connected to the speech". In that example, the background information could help a department to locate a relevant document. The link that raised the concern of the Right to Know administrators could not help an agency to locate legislation! If the material (i.e., the reasons given for the request and the link) had been in a comment but not in a request then I think that the administrators would not have even had to debate with themselves whether or not to delete it. I think they would say that it was obviously contrary to the Right to Know policy. Yet we see that political commentary can side-step the guidelines by being in the request itself.

Locutus Sum left an annotation ()

Emendment for the annotation I made 2014:03:28.

I was careless in my typing. Most of the time when I mentioned section 12, I should have said section 15 ( Briefly in this place are the correct references:

Instead of s 12 demanding the applicant gives information to identify a document, it is s 15(2)(b) "The request must ... provide such information concerning the document as is reasonably necessary to enable a responsible officer of the agency, or the Minister, to identify it."

It is s 15(3)(b) that imparts duties to the staff of departments: "Where a person ... has made to an agency a request that does not comply with this section; it is the duty of the agency to take reasonable steps to assist the person to make the request in a manner that complies with this section. "

But, the reference to s 12(1)(c) in Part 3 is correct: "A person is not entitled to obtain access under this Part to ... a document that is available for purchase by the public in accordance with arrangements made by an agency." (

I apologize. I would prefer to edit and emend the mistakes in my original annotation but that is not possible.