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As a Council, we respect the privacy of everyone that visits our website.

We are committed to complying with the Information Privacy Principles outlined in the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 (DOC 520Kb).

This statement outlines the privacy policy and practices of Merri-bek City Council to visitors to our main website ( and secondary websites.

The policy does not apply to linked websites. We do not link knowingly to sites that are privacy-invasive.

Anonymous access to our site

You can use the Merri-bek City Council website and browse our website anonymously, without disclosing personal information.

Collection and use of personal data

The Merri-bek City Council website does not retrieve or record any personal information, except for the information that you give freely:

  • in responding to online forms put on our website
  • to contact us for payments, customer requests, booking requests, certificates, animal registrations, and application inquiries on our eServices website
  • to give us feedback on our eServices website

If you do provide us with this information, we will only use it for the purpose stated. We do not use this data for direct marketing unless you give us permission to do so.

Our staff and contractors that use your personal information collected on this website are required to protect and handle your personal information in accordance with the privacy principles in the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 (DOC 520Kb) and our Information Privacy and Health Records Policy (PDF).

Collection and use of site visit data

The Merri-bek City Council website, Active Merri-bek website, and Zero Carbon Merri-bek website all use cookies. If you have your cookies disabled in your browser, you will still be able to access our websites. A cookie is a system that stores some information that is shared between a web server and a user's browser. Cookies give the server information about a user's identity and website visiting patterns and preferences.

These websites also use cookies through Google Analytics tracking. Google Analytics uses cookies to report on visits to our websites. It does not collect identifying data such as your name.

We use cookies to remember your username on the Merri-bek library catalogue website. This also makes the login process quicker the next time you visit the site. The cookie does not record your login password.

We also share information about your use of our site with Facebook using tracking pixels. We share the tracking pixel data with Facebook and they use the information collected from the page to optimise the advertising you see when using the platform. You can opt-out of any Facebook tracking activity by adjusting your advertising settings. You can find out more about how to do this on Facebook's Help Centre.

We use Hotjar in order to better understand our users’ needs and to optimise this service and experience. Hotjar is a technology service that helps us better understand our users’ experience (e.g. how much time they spend on which pages, which links they choose to click, what users do and don’t like, etc.) and this enables us to build and maintain our service with user feedback.

Hotjar uses cookies and other technologies to collect data on our users’ behavior and their devices. This includes a device's IP address (processed during your session and stored in a de-identified form), device screen size, device type (unique device identifiers), browser information, geographic location (country only), and the preferred language used to display our website. Hotjar stores this information on our behalf in a pseudonymized user profile. Hotjar is contractually forbidden to sell any of the data collected on our behalf. You can find out more on the Hotjar website.

What we record

For statistical and system administration reasons, our Google Analytics tool automatically records this non-personal information:

  • the Internet Protocol (IP) number (the IP number is assigned to your computer when you use the internet)
  • the domain name of the account you use to access the internet (eg. '' or '')
  • the date and time of your visit to the site
  • the pages you accessed and downloaded
  • the address of the last site you visited, and
  • the type of browser you are using, for example, Firefox or Internet Explorer.

This information will only be used to update and improve our website. To the extent that this data could make you identifiable, we will not attempt to identify individuals from the records the server automatically generates unless that is necessary to investigate a breach of law or regulation.

Disclosure of information

We will not disclose your personal information to a third party without your consent unless we are required or authorised to do so by law or other regulations. In the unlikely event of an investigation into suspected unlawful or improper activity, a law enforcement agency or government agency may exercise its legal authority to inspect the web server's records (for example, in relation to hacking or abusive messages).

Security of your personal data

The protection of personal privacy is a priority of every person at Merri-bek City Council.

This website does not provide facilities that guarantee secure transmission of information over the internet. You should be aware, however, that there are risks in transmitting information across the internet. If you are concerned about conveying sensitive or personal material to Council over the internet, you might prefer to contact us by telephone or post.

Secondary Council websites and services

Council eServices website

In using our eServices website ( you are authorising Merri-bek City Council to collect information about you and about the transactions that you process through our eServices website.

We collect information when you register with our eServices website or submit a form through the website.

Merri-bek City Council may disclose information about you (including your identity) to a third party, if we are required to do so due to the processing of a criminal or other legal investigation, or if we determine that this disclosure is required to assist in the progressing of a complaint regarding your use of the site.

Business Merri-bek website

Before the publication of our new Council website design in July 2021, we had a Business Merri-bek website ( that has now been archived and is no longer being updated. The information from this website has now been moved onto the Merri-bek City Council website in the Business section. This section of our website provides information to new and existing businesses.

We collect information when you submit a message using an online form or subscribe to the Business Merri-bek eNewsletter using our online subscription form.


We collect information from organisations and individuals during the planning scheme amendment process through submissions made to an Amendment. Submissions may be hand written, electronic (both written and audio-visual), and often contain images, maps, and plans. Submissions frequently contain personal information which at times may be sensitive for commercial, health or other reasons.

Natural justice and transparency are important parts of the Planning Scheme Amendment process. Council must make all submissions to an Amendment available for any person to inspect at its offices for a period of two months after the Amendment is finalised. This is a requirement of the 'Planning and Environment Act 1987'. This includes all personal information such as names, address details, phone numbers and email addresses. Your submission may also be emailed or posted to interested parties during the Planning Scheme amendment process.

We use submissions when assessing the Amendment and summaries of your submission are included in any Council report that considers the Amendment following the close of exhibition. Your submission will also be used and disclosed in the public process of a Panel Hearing if one is required. Any submission forwarded to Planning Panels Victoria will be managed in accordance with their privacy policy.

Publication of Submissions on Council’s Website

We will make all submissions available to view online on our website during the Planning Scheme Amendment process. All submissions made available online will be redacted to remove personal information including names, address and email details and phone numbers s (with the exception of a property address that is the subject of the Amendment). Submissions will be removed from the website once the Amendment is finalised

Use of your personal information

In accordance with the 'Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014' (Vic) and 'Health Records Act 2001' (Vic) the personal information submitted by you is being collected by Merri-bek City Council for the submission process and it will not be disclosed to any other external party without your consent, except as a requirement of the 'Planning and Environment Act 1987' (Vic).  If we provide a copy of your submission to another person, we will provide a disclaimer that it is made available for the purpose of the planning scheme amendment process as set out in the 'Planning and Environment Act 1987' and that the information must not be used for any other purpose or distributed to another party or published online.

If you do not provide your name and address we will not be able to consider your submission.

You can gain access to the personal information you have provided to us and if you wish to alter it, please contact our Privacy Officer by emailing or calling 9240 1111.

My Virtual Merri-bek app for Android and iOS

We previously had a My Virtual Merri-bek app for Android and iOS that displayed currently advertised planning applications, information, and 3D models to the user. The Virtual Merri-bek AR app was decommissioned as of June 30th, 2021. You can find information about this on our My Virtual Merri-bek page.

We may have collected basic default analytical data (such as device make and model) through the Google play store and Apple app store when you downloaded the app to your device.

Active Merri-bek website

We have an Active Merri-bek website ( that provides information on Council aquatic and leisure centres, as well as recreational and leisure opportunities.

We collect information when you subscribe to Active Merri-bek eNewsletters through the site or submit a message using an online form.

Merri-bek Infoxchange Service Seeker

We use Infoxchange Service Seeker ( to list community organisations and groups.

We collect contact details and other information about community groups and organisations. This information is included in the Infoxchange Service Seeker when permission is explicitly granted by the organisation or group. Contact details that are requested to be kept confidential are not made available on the online directory.

Zero Carbon Merri-bek

Our Zero Carbon Merri-bek website ( provides information to the community on how to reduce their carbon emissions across the municipality.

Information is collected when you subscribe to the Eco e-News through the site or submit a message using an online form. This site also uses cookies and Google Analytics to monitor site traffic.

Links to other websites

Moerri-bek Council websites have links to external websites. Links to other websites that we provide from our website may have different privacy policies and practices. We suggest you read the privacy policy of a website before you share information on their site through forms or other ways of sharing information.

Your right to see and correct personal records

You can ask us what personal information we keep about you as a result of visiting our website.

To do this you can:

You can ask for a copy of the personal data we have collected. You can ask us to correct, complete and change the information we hold about you.

Use of cameras by enforcement staff

Merri-bek Council enforcement staff use body-worn cameras in their day-to-day duties. These are worn in order to ensure an accurate representation of any incidents as well as for the protection of staff.

You may be recorded if you interact with these staff. Recordings are used for incident verification purposes as well as for staff professional development.  

The Freedom of Information (FOI) Act 1982

The 'Freedom of Information (FOI) Act 1982' gives the community a legal right to access certain Council documents. Merri-bek City Council is subject to the Freedom of Information Act and we respond to requests directly related to this law. More information on this is available on our Freedom of information page.