Documents created prior to 1 December 1977 are not covered by the Act, and are, strictly speaking, not available. Older documents which can still be accessed are:
- personal records, whenever created
- documents containing information on the applicant's business, commercial or financial affairs
- support documents reasonably necessary to properly understand the main documents.
However, the Act encourages release of documents whenever possible and the Government does not intend to prevent or discourage powers to publish and access information not covered by the Act [Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Cth) s 3A]. Under the Archives Act 1983 (Cth), documents more than thirty years old are available for public access by applying to any office of the Australian Archives.
The content of the Law Handbook is made available as a public service for information purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for legal advice. See Disclaimer for details. For free and confidential legal advice in South Australia call 1300 366 424.