Your rights to access Council information are provided in the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (NSW) (GIPA Act). The Act commenced on 1 July 2010 and replaced the Freedom of Information Act 1989 (NSW) and section 12 of the Local Government Act 1993 (NSW).
Council is committed to open, accountable and transparent government. Under the GIPA Act, Council will proactively publish more information on Council's website and improve the efficient release of information.
1. Search Council's website to see if the information is already published
Information available on Council's website includes:
NOTE: Returns of the interests of Councillors and designated persons are available by contacting Council.
(you should also search Council’s website as the below is only a summary)
2. Contact Council and ask for the information
If the information you want is not on this website, contact us and we will tell you whether the requested information:
- Is open access information that is already available and how you can access the information
- Can be made available as part of a proactive release of information
- Can be disclosed to you through informal release
- Requires a formal access application.
You can contact us by telephoning (02) 4974 2000 or lodging an informal request using our Request Form. You should speak with the relevant area having regard to the information you are wanting, for example if it is about a dog or parking, speak to the Compliance Team, or if it is about a Development Application, speak to the Development and Building Team.
Timeframes - Council will process requests as soon as possible, however, aims to process requests within 20 working days (note: there are no timeframes set by law for requests of this nature).
3. Lodge a formal GIPA request
If Council Officers advise you that the information you want cannot be released informally (because the information contains a third party’s personal or business details, or sensitive information, or will take some time to process), you will be required to lodge a formal GIPA application using Council’s Formal Access Application
Timeframes - Council is required by law to process formal requests within 20 working days (where no consultation is required) or 35 working days (where consultation / archival retrieval are required).
4. Not satisfied with the decision made in response to a formal GIPA request
If you disagree with a reviewable decision of Council, you may seek a review of the decision.
You have three review options:
- Internal review by another officer of Council who is no less senior than the officer who made the original decision - you must completed the Internal review form and pay the $40 application fee (some exceptions apply).
- External review by the Information and Privacy Commission (IPC) - contact the IPC directly for more information (telephone on 1800 472 679 or www.ipc.nsw.gov.au)
- External review by the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) - contact NCAT directly for more information (telephone on 1300 006228 or www.ncat.nsw.gov.au/)
If you request a copy of information held by Council, Council may charge a fee to cover photocopying or if Council has an authority to charge a fee. Please refer to Council's fees and charges (pdf) for more information.
The Privacy and Information Commission (IPC)
The Privacy and Information Commission (IPC) can provide you with information about the GIPA Act. More information can be found on www.ipc.nsw.gov.au