Protecting your privacy at the Northern Geelong Rental Housing Co-Operative

Recent Victorian Privacy Legislation

In 2002 two parliamentary Acts came into effect which relate to protecting personal  information that services and agencies collect.

The Health Records Act applies to any health information any service may have about you, and the Information Privacy Act deals with all personal information collected about you by services, agencies and departments.

The Northern Geelong Rental Housing Co-operative must abide by these two Acts when collecting, using, disclosing and storing any personal information we have about our members, applicants and staff. “Personal information” is any information which potentially identifies an individual – such as name, address, date of birth, contact and financial details etc. The Co-op collects this sort of  personal information in our application forms, tenancy agreement forms and our rebate application/review forms.

Click here to view the Northern Geelong Rental Housing Co-operative Privacy Information pamphlet.

Your Rights

Your rights related to privacy include:

  • the right to refuse to provide personal information (although this may have implications on the level of service/assistance we can offer you).
  • the right to gain access to the personal information held about you.
  • the right to make corrections to any incorrect information held about you.
  • the right to be assured that any personal information the Co-op holds about you will be collected and stored in a secure and safe environment and will also be protected from loss and misuse the right to be asked for your consent prior to any personal information being used for any purpose other than that for which it was originally collected.
  • the right to know what will happen to your information (who has access to it, where it is kept, why is it collected).          

Collection of Information

The Co-op collects information regarding the names, ages, gender, Centrelink details, contact information and financial details of all members of a household applying for housing with the Co-op.

We also collect this information from individuals and families living in Co-op managed properties. We need this information to assess eligibility and appropriate property size for new applicants, and for rebate rent assessment and property transfer eligibility for current Co-op members. We ask for medical  information when assessing the need either for property modifications or for a transfer to a more appropriate sized or designed property. We ask for your contact details to assist in arranging maintenance work.

The information is collected from and with the consent of the person(s) named on the tenancy agreement. The information is put on your application or tenancy file and stored in a locked cabinet in a secure office or on a secured computer. Only waged staff (and occasionally in a crisis Management Committee members) have access to this information and these files.

Only with your consent will we share your information with 3rd parties like Centrelink, contractors etc.

Your Consent

The information the Co-op collects about you can only be used for the purposes which it was collected for or if you give your consent for it to be used for some other purpose.
“Consent” must be specific and given freely after you’ve been informed about what you’re consenting to.

Accessing Information

You have the right to access your personal information that the Co-op holds, and you have the right to correct or update this information at any time. If you wish to access your Co-op file please put your request in writing to:
P.O. Box 1013,
Corio 3214.

Simply state what you would like a copy of, where you would like the material sent and an acknowledgement that the information is being provided at your request. The request must be signed by the person(s) who is named on the application or tenancy file. We will try to respond to your request speedily. If access is denied you will be told why in writing.

What To Do If You Believe Your Privacy Has Been Breached

If you believe that your privacy has been breached, or that you’ve been denied access to your information unreasonably, you should put your complaint in writing to the Committee of Management. If you are dissatisfied with the Committee’s response you can contact one of the following for advice and assistance:

Victorian Privacy Commissioner
Level 11, 10—16 Queen Street,
Melbourne, 3000
Ph: 1300 666 444 or 8619 8719

Health Services Commissioner
30th Floor, 570 Bourke Street
Melbourne, 3000
Ph: 1800 136 066 or 8601 5200

Both Commissioners have the powers to investigate matters in relation to privacy disputes and they have the capacity to serve compliance notices and impose penalty units if a privacy breach is proven.
For more information call the Co-op Co-ordinator on 5277 9993.


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