Minutes and Papers of Environmental Health Standing Committee

This request has been withdrawn by the person who made it. There may be an explanation in the correspondence below.

Dear Department of Health,

I would like to request the Minutes of all Environmental Health Standing Committee (enHealth) meetings from 2017 to present.

Additionally I would like to request access to any papers presented to enHealth during this time on the safety of 5G or electromagnetic energy more broadly.

Yours faithfully,

John Snow

FOI, Department of Health

Attention:  John Snow

 

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION REQUEST – NOTIFICATION OF RECEIPT AND REQUEST FOR
AN EXTENSION OF TIME

 

I am writing to notify you that the Department of Health (department)
received your request on 13 September 2021 for access to documents under
the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Cth) (FOI Act) being:

 

the Minutes of all Environmental Health Standing Committee (enHealth)
meetings from 2017 to present; and access to any papers presented to
enHealth during this time on the safety of 5G or electromagnetic energy
more broadly

 

The statutory timeframe for processing your request is 30 calendar days
within which a decision on access to the requested documents is to be
notified. The department may impose a charge for the work involved in
providing access to the documents. If this request attracts a charge you
will be notified in writing.

 

Unless you advise otherwise, draft and duplicate documents along with
Commonwealth employee names and contact details below Senior Executive
Service level and mobile telephone numbers of all staff will be excluded
from the scope of your request under s22(1)(a)(ii) of the FOI Act.

 

Request for extension of time

 

As a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the department is dealing
with a very high volume of FOI requests. To ensure the department can
process your request in accordance with the requirements of the FOI Act,
including locating and providing access to all relevant documents, the
department would be grateful if you would agree to an extension of 30
calendar days for processing your request.  If you agree, the department
will endeavour to provide a decision to you by 12 November 2021.

 

Please contact the department by 16 September 2021 with your decision to
the 30 day extension of processing time.

 

You can contact the FOI Unit on via email at [email address], should you
have any questions.

 

Kind regards

FOI Officer

 

 

FOI and Legislation Support Section

Legal & Assurance Division |  Corporate Operations Group

Legal Advice & Legislation Branch

Australian Government Department of Health

E: [Health request email] 

GPO Box 9848, Canberra ACT 2601, Australia

 

The Department of Health acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of
Australia and their continued connection to land, sea and community. We
pay our respects to all Elders past and present. 

 

If you receive this email in error, please delete it and contact the
sender immediately.

 

 

 

show quoted sections

Dear FOI,

I consent to the extension.

Yours sincerely,

John Snow

FOI, Department of Health

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Snow 

 

I refer to your request of 13 September 2021 to the Department of Health
(the department) seeking access under the Freedom of Information Act 1982
(Cth) (FOI Act) to the following documents:

 

I would like to request the Minutes of all Environmental Health Standing
Committee (enHealth) meetings from 2017 to present.

 

Additionally I would like to request access to any papers presented to
enHealth during this time on the safety of 5G or electromagnetic energy
more broadly.

 

Clarification of scope:

 

As EnHealth is a jurisdictional committee that comprises representatives
from each State and Territory, Commonwealth agencies, and private and
non-government organisations, extensive third party consultation will be
required to process this request. This is likely to incur significant
charges and prolong the due date for your request. Accordingly, the
department would like to clarify the specific information you require.

 

Suggestions to clarify the scope of your request:  

 

To ensure that we process your request as efficiently as possible and to
clarify the specific documents you are interested in, we are seeking to
work with you to refine the scope of your request. Please consider the
following options:

 

o Consider reducing the timeframe of the documents you are seeking, e.g.
January 2020 – December 2020
o Identify a specific topic to focus on – e.g. 5G or electromagnetic
energy

 

Next Steps

 

Please respond to the department with your clarified scope by COB Thursday
14 October 2021.

 

The FOI Act, including the provisions referred to in this email, can be
accessed from the Federal Register of Legislation website:
[1]https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/C...

 

If you require clarification on any of the matters discussed in this
email, please contact the department’s FOI Unit by email at
[2][email address]  

 

Kind regards

 

FOI Officer

 

FOI and Legislation Support Section

Legal & Assurance Division |  Corporate Operations Group

Legal Advice & Legislation Branch

Australian Government Department of Health

E: [3][Health request email] 

GPO Box 9848, Canberra ACT 2601, Australia

 

"Important: This transmission is intended only for the use of the
addressee and may contain confidential or legally privileged information. 
If you are not the intended recipient, you are notified that any use or
dissemination of this communication is strictly prohibited.  If you
receive this transmission in error please notify the author immediately
and delete all copies of this transmission."

References

Visible links
1. https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/C...
2. mailto:[email address]
3. mailto:[Health request email]

Dear FOI Officer,

Instead of the minutes, can I request the agendas for all meeting as I assume no third party consultation will be required for these.

Yours sincerely,

John Snow

FOI, Department of Health

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Snow

 

Thank you for responding to the department with your clarified scope. The
department has interpreted the scope of your request as follows:

 

Instead of the minutes, can I request the agendas for all meetings from
2017 to present

 

Further, as EnHealth is a jurisdictional committee, third party
consultation will be required with the States and Territories. The
department will notify you separately regarding this consultation.

 

Please do not hesitate to contact the FOI Unit at [1][email address] if
you have any questions regarding this e-mail.

 

Kind regards,

 

FOI Officer

 

FOI and Legislation Support Section

Legal & Assurance Division |  Corporate Operations Group

Legal Advice & Legislation Branch

Australian Government Department of Health

E: [2][Health request email] 

GPO Box 9848, Canberra ACT 2601, Australia

 

 

"Important: This transmission is intended only for the use of the
addressee and may contain confidential or legally privileged information. 
If you are not the intended recipient, you are notified that any use or
dissemination of this communication is strictly prohibited.  If you
receive this transmission in error please notify the author immediately
and delete all copies of this transmission."

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]
2. mailto:[Health request email]

FOI, Department of Health

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Snow 

 

I refer to your request of 13 September 2021 to the Department of Health
(department) seeking access under the Freedom of Information Act 1982
(Cth) (FOI Act) to the following documents:

 

I would like to request the Minutes of all Environmental Health Standing 
Committee (enHealth) meetings from 2017 to present.

 

Additionally I would like to request access to any papers presented to 
enHealth during this time on the safety of 5G or electromagnetic energy
more broadly.

 

You revised the scope of your request on 11 October 2021 to the following:

 

Instead of the minutes, can I request the agendas for all meeting as I
assume no third party consultation will be required for these.

 

Notice of Third Party Consultation

 

Documents have been identified to which third parties to this request are
involved.

 

The decision maker, Lara Purdy , Assistant Secretary, Office of Health
Protection and Response Division, an officer authorised under section
23(1) of the FOI Act to make decisions in relation to freedom of
information requests, has determined the requirement of section 26A
(Consultation – documents affecting Commonwealth-State relations) makes it
appropriate to extend the time frame for dealing with your request.

 

Pursuant to section 15(6) of the FOI Act, this allows an additional 30
days to process your request.

 

A decision will be provided to you on or before 12 December 2021. You are
not required to do anything further at this time.

 

Relevant provisions

 

The FOI Act, including the provisions referred to in this email, can be
accessed from the Federal Register of Legislation website:
[1]https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/C...

 

If you require clarification of any of the matters discussed in this email
you should contact the department’s FOI Unit by email at
[2][email address].

 

Kind regards,

 

FOI Officer

 

FOI and Legislation Support Section

Legal & Assurance Division |  Corporate Operations Group

Legal Advice & Legislation Branch

Australian Government Department of Health

E: [3][Health request email] 

GPO Box 9848, Canberra ACT 2601, Australia

 

"Important: This transmission is intended only for the use of the
addressee and may contain confidential or legally privileged information. 
If you are not the intended recipient, you are notified that any use or
dissemination of this communication is strictly prohibited.  If you
receive this transmission in error please notify the author immediately
and delete all copies of this transmission."

References

Visible links
1. https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/C...
2. mailto:[email address]
3. mailto:[Health request email]

FOI, Department of Health

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Snow

 

I refer to your request of 13 September 2021 to the Department of Health
(department) seeking access under the Freedom of Information Act 1982
(Cth) (FOI Act) to the following documents:

 

the Minutes of all Environmental Health Standing Committee (enHealth) 
meetings from 2017 to present; and access to any papers presented to
enHealth during this time on the safety of 5G or electromagnetic energy
more broadly

 

On the 11 October 2021, the department requested clarification of the
scope of your request. You responded with the following clarified scope:

 

Instead of the minutes, can I request the agendas for all meeting as I
assume no third party consultation will be required for these.

 

Notice of Liability to Pay a Charge

 

The Director of the Department’s Freedom of Information Unit (the
Director), an officer authorised under subsection 23(1) of the FOI Act to
make decisions in relation to freedom of information requests, has decided
you are liable to pay a charge in respect of the processing of your
request.

 

Preliminary Assessment

 

In accordance with section 29 of the FOI Act and the Freedom of
Information (Charges) Regulations 2019, the Director’s preliminary
assessment of the charge you are liable to pay is $562.75

 

This has been calculated as follows:

 

search and retrieval time 15.5 hours @ $15.00 per hour $232.75
(including time spent locating
relevant files and collating
relevant documents contained on
those files)
decision making time (including 21.5 hours @ $20.00 per hour $430.00
time spent examining the documents,
considering exemptions, undertaking    
consultation, writing the decision
and preparing any documents for Less first 5 hours free ($100.00)
release)
TOTAL $562.75

 

Deposit

 

The Director has also decided you are required to pay a deposit of
$140.00. Payment of a deposit is taken as your authority to proceed with
processing of your request and your agreement to pay the full charge in
which case you will become liable to the Commonwealth for the full cost of
processing the charge.

 

Payment

 

The department can accept credit card, money order or cheque payments.

 

If you choose to pay by cheque (personal or bank) or money order it should
be sent to the following:

FOI Unit (MDP 516)

Department of Health

GPO Box 9848

CANBERRA ACT 2601

 

If you wish to pay by credit card, please contact the department’s FOI
unit on (02) 6289 1666 to be further advised.

 

Response

 

Under the FOI Act, you have 30 days to respond in writing to this notice.
You must, within 30 days after this notice is given, do one of the
following things:

(i)            agree with the department’s estimate and pay the deposit or
whole charge if no deposit is listed, or

(ii)           advise the department in writing you contend the charge has
been wrongly assessed, or should be reduced or not imposed, giving reasons
for your contention, or

(iii)          advise the department in writing you withdraw the request
for access to the documents concerned.

 

Please send your response to the above postal address or [1]this email
address. If you do not provide a response within 30 days, your freedom of
information request will be taken to have been withdrawn.

 

If you choose to make a contention the charge should be reduced or not
imposed, the department must, in making a decision on your contention,
take into account the matters set out in section 29(5) of the FOI Act or
any relevant matter.

 

Processing time

 

Processing of your request and counting the 60 calendar days are suspended
from the date you receive this notice and resume either when you pay the
deposit or when any contention you make about the charge has been
resolved.

 

Relevant provisions

 

The FOI Act, including the provisions referred to in this email, can be
accessed from the Federal Register of Legislation website.

 

If you require clarification of any of the matters discussed in this email
you should contact the department’s FOI Unit by email at
[2][email address].

 

FOI Officer

 

FOI and Legislation Support Section

Legal & Assurance Division |  Corporate Operations Group

Legal Advice & Legislation Branch

Australian Government Department of Health

T: 02 6289 1666  | E: [3][Health request email] 

GPO Box 9848, Canberra ACT 2601, Australia

 

"Important: This transmission is intended only for the use of the
addressee and may contain confidential or legally privileged information. 
If you are not the intended recipient, you are notified that any use or
dissemination of this communication is strictly prohibited.  If you
receive this transmission in error please notify the author immediately
and delete all copies of this transmission."

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[Health request email]
2. mailto:[email address]
3. mailto:[Health request email]

Dear FOI Officer,

In line with your request, I contend the charges imposed on this request. According to the terms of reference of enHealth, it meets every second month and I would assume there is approximately 30 documents (agendas) that would have to be produced under this request. You are of course able to redact any names or private information as part of this request.

Yours sincerely,

John Snow

FOI, Department of Health

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Snow

 

Thank you for your email.

 

Your internal review of Charges will be considered and you will be
notified of the review decision within 30 days.

 

If you require clarification of any of the matters discussed in this
email, you should contact the department’s FOI Unit on (02) 6289 1666, or
by email at [1][email address].

 

Kind regards,

 

FOI Officer

 

FOI and Legislation Support Section

Legal & Assurance Division |  Corporate Operations Group

Legal Advice & Legislation Branch

Australian Government Department of Health

T: 02 6289 1666  | E: [2][Health request email] 

GPO Box 9848, Canberra ACT 2601, Australia

 

 

"Important: This transmission is intended only for the use of the
addressee and may contain confidential or legally privileged information. 
If you are not the intended recipient, you are notified that any use or
dissemination of this communication is strictly prohibited.  If you
receive this transmission in error please notify the author immediately
and delete all copies of this transmission."

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]
2. mailto:[Health request email]

FOI, Department of Health

3 Attachments

Dear Mr Snow

 

Please find attached correspondence in relation to your Internal Review of
Charges with the Department of Health.

 

FOI Officer

 

FOI and Legislation Support Section

Legal & Assurance Division |  Corporate Operations Group

Legal Advice & Legislation Branch

Australian Government Department of Health

T: 02 6289 1666  | E: [1][Health request email] 

GPO Box 9848, Canberra ACT 2601, Australia

 

[2]Shape, rectangle, square Description automatically generated

 

 

"Important: This transmission is intended only for the use of the
addressee and may contain confidential or legally privileged information. 
If you are not the intended recipient, you are notified that any use or
dissemination of this communication is strictly prohibited.  If you
receive this transmission in error please notify the author immediately
and delete all copies of this transmission."

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[Health request email]

Dear Department of Health,

Thank you for considering this. I do not have the means to pay and therefore withdraw my request.

Yours sincerely,

John Snow