Access to information

About the GIPA Act

Access to information is regulated by the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (‘GIPA Act’), which replaced the Freedom of Information Act 1989.

The GIPA Act provides an open and transparent process for giving the public access to information, and encourages the proactive release of information. It requires us to make information publicly available unless there is an overriding public interest against disclosure. This involves applying a public interest test.

How do I access Council information?

There are four ways to access Council information.

1. Open access information 

We are required to make certain information publicly available free of charge on our website. This includes policies, reports, agendas and development application information.

To access this information, click here.

2. Proactively released information

Council proactively makes a range of information publicly available on our website. We also regularly review information to see if it can be released.

3. Informal request

If you can’t find the information you’re looking for, you can apply for it by making an informal request. There is no application fee. A request may take up to 20 business days to process. Subject to any reasonable conditions, the information may be released informally. Decisions in relation to informal requests are not reviewable.

If your request relates to development applications or planning information (approvals, plans, assessment reports, certificates etc.), please see here.

All other informal requests can made by emailing

4. Access application (formal)

If you can’t access the information through the above methods, you will need to complete a formal Access Application.

This may be the case where:

  • A large amount of information is requested.
  • There are public interest considerations against releasing the information. For example, if it contains personal information or a third party’s business information.
  • Third party consultation is required.

An application fee of $30 applies.

Access applications must be decided within 20 working days of receipt. However, the decision period can be extended in certain circumstances; for example, where third party consultation is required.

You will receive a formal notice of decision explaining why the information has or has not been released.

If access is refused, or you are not satisfied with the information received, you can seek a review of the decision through:

  • An Internal Review. A $40 fee is payable.
  • An external review by the NSW Information Commissioner.
  • An external review by the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT).

For more information about your review rights, please click here.

Further information

If you have any questions about accessing information, please contact or call 9083 8000.

For more information about the GIPA Act, please visit the Information and Privacy Commission’s website.