You can request access to documents under the Freedom of Information Act 1982.
Before you apply
Before submitting a freedom of information request, we encourage you to look on our website for the information you need, or to get in touch with us. You might find that the information you’re looking for may be publicly available or contained in our Part II information statement below.
We also recommend reading about which documents you can and can’t access before applying.
Which documents you can and can’t access
- Documents created by South East Water
- Documents supplied to South East Water by a third party
Under the Freedom of information (FOI) Act you have the right to:
- Request access to documents
- Request that incorrect or misleading information that is held about you is amended or removed
Some documents are exempt from release, for example, if they:
- contain trade secrets
- contain information provided to South East Water in confidence
- contain information provided to South East Water by a business
- are internal working documents
- may affect legal proceedings or are covered by legal professional privilege (e.g. legal advice)
- affect personal information about other people
- have been submitted to State Cabinet.
You may be refused access to an entire document or you may be given access to a document with some information deleted.
When making a freedom of information request
Make sure you clearly describe the documents or types of documents you’d like access to and advise whether you:
- want to inspect the documents at our offices
- want the documents we release as hard copies
- want the documents we release electronically
- insist on complete documents or
- are happy to receive documents with irrelevant or exempt material removed.
Fees and charges
From 1 July 2023 an application fee of $31.80 will be payable with your request.
We may waive the application fee due to hardship or if you have a concession card.
You can pay the application fees by personal or bank cheque made payable to South East Water Corporation. Alternatively, you can pay by credit card. Please contact us if you would like to pay by credit card.
In addition to the application fee, access charges (for searching, making copies of and preparing documents) may apply. We apply these charges in accordance with the Freedom of Information legislation.
If we estimate access charges will be more than $50.00, we’ll let you know what our estimated access charges are and request a deposit before we process your request.
If the charges are less than $50.00, we’ll let you know the payable charges when we send you our decision.
After the request has been made
If your request isn’t valid, we’ll contact you within 21 days and let you know why. We’ll try to help you or advise on how you can make a valid request.
If we let you know that your request isn’t valid, we’ll give you at least 21 days to make it valid.
If you don’t contact us to discuss how to make a valid request, or you haven’t made a valid request after 21 days, South East Water is not required to begin processing your request and may decide to finalise it.
Once you make a valid request, South East Water will begin to process it.
South East Water has between 30 to 45 days from the date you make a valid request to provide you with a decision. The timeframe will depend on whether or not we need additional time to consult with third parties whose information may be contained in the requested documents. The timeframe can be extended beyond 30 to 45 days if you provide your consent.
If you don’t receive a decision after 30 to 45 days, or a further period as agreed by you, you can contact us and ask for an update. There can be a number of reasons why the request has been delayed and we can discuss these with you.
Part II information statement
South East Water aims to extend as far as possible the right of the community to access information in our possession.
You can obtain information about South East Water in various ways including by searching our website or making a Freedom of Information Act request.
Our role is to bring you high quality water and take wastewater away every day – and we’re working 24/7 to make that happen. It means fixing problems quickly. It means providing efficient and reliable sewerage and trade waste services. It means finding better ways for us to use water, and helping you understand how you can save water, too – so we can make sure there’ll be enough for everyone in the future.
We manage and maintain the water and sewerage networks – the pipes, pumping stations, valves and some water recycling plants that bring water to you and take waste away.
We buy our fresh drinking water from the government’s water wholesaler, Melbourne Water, that manages the water catchments (the dams) and treats the water to a high standard.
South East Water manages…
- 25,700+ kilometres of pipeline
- 82 water pump stations
- 273 sewage pump stations
- Nine recycled water pump stations
- Eight water recycling plants
- $4.4 billion of infrastructure and assets
South East Water produces and maintains a large range of documents and records in the course of carrying out its activities.
The types of documents we handle include:
- charters, policies and procedures
- plans and strategies
- reports, statements and briefings
- registers and databases
- applications, permits, agreements, leases and licenses
- financial records
- instructions, forms and lists
- audiovisual material
The FOI Act allows for people to gain access to information and documents maintained and held by South East Water. The FOI Act gives people the right to request documents relating their personal affairs, as well as information about any of the activities being conducted as part of South East Water.
A Freedom of Information (FOI) request needs to be in writing to the agency that holds the documents being requested.
Before you make a request for access
Before submitting a FOI request online, we encourage you to contact us as the information may already be publicly available without having to make an FOI request. If you still wish to make a request, click here to make an FOI request by email and pay the requisite application fee, alternatively you can apply by post at:
Freedom of Information Officer
South East Water
PO Box 2268
Seaford VIC 3198
This is material that South East Water has published or that is available for inspection and includes our Annual Report. The Annual Report provides an overview of our performance highlights and financials.
A sample of our policies, charters and procedures can be found on our website including:
- Corporate policies, regulations and charters which guide our works and services
- Building and development guidelines and agreements
- Water and sewer technical standards
- Prices and charges
There are currently no subscription services available from South East Water however you can view our annual report online.
Make a request
If you cannot locate the information you are looking for on our website you can contact us to make an FOI request.