Public Access to Information

Access to Information

What is access to information?

In NSW, you have the right to access certain 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?

The GIPA Act sets out the rules about how you can access government information from NSW government agencies. The objective of the GIPA Act is to make government information more accessible to the public. Government information can include records and data about how a government agency works or your own person information that is held by a government agency.

How information can be accessed?

To promote open, accountable, fair and effective government in in NSW, members of the public have a right to access government information. There are three ways to access Council information including the Council website, informal request for information and formal request of information.

  1. Council Website - Mandatory or Proactive release of Information
  2. Informal Request for Information
  3. Formal Request for Information 

Agency Information Guide

Under the GIPA Act, Council must have an Agency Information Guide(PDF, 272KB). The Agency Information Guide describes the functions responsibilities and organisational structure(PDF, 152KB) of Council. It aims to promotes a better understanding of Council’s work in the community and inform members of the public about the ways in which the community can participate in Council’s decision-making processes. It also details the various types of information held by Council and how that information can be accessed.


Council is also required to fulfil certain obligations for the protection of personal information, and for the protection of the privacy of individuals generally, under the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998. Council’s Privacy Management Plan(PDF, 386KB)  provides further information about how Council meets these obligations.


There are certain circumstances in which Council cannot lawfully provide copies of information and must make such information available by inspection only. This is particularly relevant where information is subject to Copyright. Copies of documents containing copyrighted information can only be provided to members of the public with the written consent of the copyright owner, or in other limited circumstances as provided by the Copyright Act 1968. As such, without written consent or a lawful exception, Council makes copyrighted information available to members of the public by inspection only.

Council will (wherever practical) provide information about the copyright owner to members of the public so that they may make their own enquiries with the copyright owner and request that Council by provided with written consent to provide copies of documents containing copyrighted information. Members of the public should be aware that Council’s ability to provide information about copyright owners may be limited by the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998, therefore Council cannot guarantee that it will be able to provide such information in all circumstances.

Do you require further information?

For further information in regard to access to public information, please contact the Information and Privacy Commission NSW on 1800 472 679 or email

The Information and Privacy Commission oversees public access to government information in NSW.