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Freedom of information

Archival records - access to records under the Archives Act 1983

Prior to 1 January 2011, the Archives Act 1983 provided a public right of access to Commonwealth government 'Open Period records – i.e. records that were 30 or more years old. However, with the introduction of the Freedon of Information Amendment (Reform) Act 2010 the 'Open Period' will be reduced to 20 years, over a phasing-in period of 10 years, commencing on 1 January 2011. The National Archives website provides information on how to apply for access to the department's archival records. Applications need to be lodged with the National Archives of Australia and should be addressed to:

The Archives Act 1983 also allows the department to grant approved individuals special access to records not generally available to the public. Inquiries regarding elegibility for special access should be addressed to:

  • Phone: (02) 6261 3854 or (02) 6261 9836
  • Fax: (02) 6261 1445
  • Mail:
    Document Access Unit
    Public Diplomacy and Information Resources Branch
    Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
    R G Casey Building
    John McEwan Crescent
    Barton ACT 0221
Last Updated: 11 August 2014
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