Access to Information

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Carrathool Shire Council is committed to open, accountable and transparent government through the timely release of Council held information that is of interest to our community. Under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (NSW) (GIPA Act), you have a legally enforceable right to access most government information that we hold, unless there is an overriding public interest against disclosure.

The objective of the GIPA Act is to:

  • Make government information more accessible to the public by requiring government agencies to make certain sorts of information freely available
  • Encourage government agencies to release as much information as possible
  • Give the public an enforceable right to make access applications for government information
  • Restrict access to information only when there is an overriding public interest against disclosure.

There are four ways you can access information from Council and other NSW government agencies

  1. Mandatory release: referred to as open access information. This includes information found on Council’s website such as policies and general documents that are published on Council’s website.
  2. Proactive release: This includes additional documents that Council make available to the public on Council’s website or at a Council office.
  3. Informal request: This is for specific information. Council can choose to release information without the need for a formal access application. Access via this path may be subject to photocopying charges.
  4. Formal application: If you have not been able to obtain the information you need through any other form of access you can lodge a Formal Access Application. Unlike the Informal request you have a legally enforceable right to be provided with access unless there is an overriding public interest against disclosure.

The Information and Privacy Commission (IPC) oversees the public access to government information systems. For a better understanding of your right to information you can access the IPC website

How can I access Council information?

  • View Council’s Information Guide  – Appendix 1 Access to Information. This table contains various information items and how you can access them.
  • Search our website to see if the information you are seeking is publicly available.
  • If you are unable to locate the information, contact us on 6965 1900 for assistance.
  • If the information is not available online, you will need to complete an Access to Information Request (informal)
  • In some situations, the Public Officer may require you to complete a Formal Access Application. This could be for confidential/sensitive information or it may contain personal information of other parties. Prior to lodging your Formal Access Application, please read Tips for framing your information access application to assist us to better understand what information you seek.

Copyright protected material

Council cannot publish any copyright protected material on websites, or provide any copies (including by email) of this material under the GIPA Act unless the copyright owner has expressly consented.

This means that most building plans and reports are protected under these laws. Even though you may be the current property owner, or the person that commissioned these plans or reports you cannot obtain a copy of these documents from Council without the express consent of the copyright owner.

Please note that documents do not have to be marked with the copyright symbol © for this to apply.

Any material affected by copyright legislation may be viewed at Council’s Administration Office in Goolgowi (by prior arrangement), but no copies or photographs can be made.

For the purpose of fulfilling Council’s functions under the EPA Act, we can publish copies of DA plans and other copyright material on our website, relying on the indemnity under the EPA Regulation, during the DA submission period of the assessment phase only.

For more information please visit the NSW Information and Privacy Commission Fact Sheet, Guidelines and other Resources.