Council >> Information Held by Council

Information held by Council

In NSW, you have a right to access most government information under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (the ‘GIPA Act’), unless there is an overriding public interest against disclosure.

What is the GIPA Act and what is government information?

The GIPA Act sets out the rules about how you can access government information from NSW government agencies. Government information means any information contained in a record held by a NSW government agency.  Government information can include records and data about how a government agency works, or your own personal information that is held by a government agency. Importantly, there is a presumption in favour of releasing government information.  However, some government information is effectively excluded from access under the GIPA Act.

Who does it apply to?

The GIPA Act applies to NSW government departments, local councils, NSW State Owned Corporations, Universities, NSW Ministers and their staff.

How does Council give out information?

Search our Website

Under the GIPA Act, Council must release certain information (known as ‘open access information’) unless there is an overriding public interest against doing so. Generally, open access information must be made publicly available, free of charge, and on Council's website. Council can also make open access information available in other ways (for example, in hard copy or by viewing at Council offices). Council is not required to release all information on its website, but a lot of information should be available unless there is an overriding public interest against disclosure, or it would be unreasonably costly for Council to publish the information on its website.  

Make an informal request

If you are unable to locate the information you require on Council's website, contact Council's Customer Service team either in person at 1 Benerembah Street Griffith or by phoning 6962 8100 during Council office hours 8.15 am to 4 pm Monday to Friday and ask for the information – this is known as ‘informal release’. Council can release information informally, subject to any reasonable conditions. Click here to access Council's Informal Access Application.

Make a formal GIPA request

If you can’t get the information any other way, you can make a formal ‘access application’. Click here to access Council's Formal Access Application.

What information is publicly available?

Information About Development Applications

The following information can be obtained by contacting Council's Customer Service team:
  • Disclosures by Councillors and Designated Persons Returns;
  • Land Register;
  • Register of Investments;
  • Register of Delegations;
  • Register of Graffiti Removal Works;
  • Council's Specific Plans of Management;
  • Applications for approval under Part 1 or Chapter 7 in the Local Government Act;
  • Applications for approval under any other Act and any associated documents received;
  • Records of approvals granted or refused, any variation from Council Policies with reasons for the variation, and decisions made on appeals concerning approvals;
  • Orders given under Part 2 of Chapter 7 of the Local Government Act, and any reasons given under section 136 of the Local Government Act;
  • Orders given under the authority of any other Act,
  • Records of Building Certificates under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979;
  • Plans proposed to be compulsorily acquired by Council;
  • Compulsory Acquisition Notices; 
  • Leases and Licenses for use of Public Land classified as Community Land,
  • Performance improvement orders issued to Council.

The following information relating to development applications is also prescribed as open access according to the GIPA Act:

  • Home warranty insurance;
  • Construction certificates;
  • Occupation certificates;
  • Structural certification documents;
  • Town planner reports;
  • Submissions received on development applications;
  • Heritage consultant reports;
  • Tree inspection consultant reports;
  • Acoustic consultant reports;
  • Land contamination reports
  • Records of decisions made on development applications on or after 1 July 2010 on development applications (including decisions made on appeal),
  • A record that describes the general nature of the documents that the local authority decides are not to be made publicly available on the basis of the following exception:
    • This does not apply to so much of the information about development applications as consists of:
      • the plans and specifications for any residential parts of a proposed building, other than plans that merely show its height and its external configuration in relation to the site on which it is proposed to be erected, or
      • commercial information, if the information would be likely to prejudice the commercial position of the person who supplied it or to reveal a trade secret, or
      • development applications made before 1 July 2010 and any associated documents received in relation to the application.
  • Council must keep the record that describes the general nature of the documents that Council decides are not to be made publicly available on the basis of the above exception.

Council's GIPA Annual Reports

 

For further details on the GIPA legislation the Information and Privacy Commission website at www.ipc.nsw.gov.au