Access to Information

From 1 July 2010 all applications for information and documents will be assessed under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009. The Freedom of Information Act 1989 (NSW) and Chapter 4, Part 2 of the Local Government Act 1993 have been abolished as at 1 July 2010.

Agencies are under a mandatory obligation to publish ‘open access information’ unless there is an overriding public interest against disclosure. Open access information must be published on the agency’s website, free of charge, unless to do so would impose unreasonable additional costs to the agency.

Open access information includes the following:
2. Information about the agency contained in any document tabled in parliament by or on behalf of the agency (other than any document tabled by order of either House of Parliament)
3. Policy documents: Council Policies 
6. The agency’s record of the open access information (if any) that it does not make publicly available on the basis of an overriding public interest against disclosure: Disclosure log of Refusal due to overriding public interest

Ways in which the public can access government information

 The GIPA Act:

  • Upholds rights to information that are designed to meet community expectations of more open and transparent government;
  • Maintains there is a presumption in favour of disclosure of government information unless there is an overriding public interest against disclosure;
  • Authorises and encourages government agencies to proactively release government information;
  • Makes it possible for government agencies to release information informally, without the need to submit a formal access application;
  • Requires that a government agency must release information unless there is an overriding public interest against disclosure;
  • Provides applicants with review rights around information access decisions.

Access to government information may be exercised in four ways:

1.       Mandatory release:

This generally includes information found on Council’s website such as policy and general documents.

2.       Authorise proactive release:

Council is encouraged to release additional information, not considered mandatory release information, which may be of interest to the general public.

Any proactive release must be exercised in an appropriate manner by or with the authority of Council’s public officer, free of charge (or at the lowest reasonable cost).

3.       Informal access applications

Other information held by Council is authorised to be release in response to an informal request, subject to any reasonable conditions that Council may wish to impose. This may include information not currently available on Council’s website or a request for an individual’s own personal information. The preferred method of lodging an informal request is through Council’s Customer Services team.

4.       Formal access applications

In some limited circumstance, people seeking access to government information will need to submit a formal request. This should occur if one or more of the following apply to the information requested:

  • It is of a sensitive nature that requires careful consideration in terms of overriding public interest for and against disclosure.
  • It contains personal (of another person) or confidential information where consultation with other agencies or third parties is required.
  • It would involve an unreasonable amount of time and/or resources to provide the information requested.
Access to Council’s open access information may be obtained via the Council website or by contacting Council’s Customer Service area between 8.30am and 5.00pm Monday to Friday. If the documents you require are not available on the website please email Council or contact Council’s Customer Service area or Council’s Public Officer. If you ask for records or documents and you are not able to obtain them, you may apply for them under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 by:
  • Completing a GIPA Application Form (50KB) (if you cannot download this form you may obtain a form from Council’s Customer Service Centre) and,

  • Presenting the form and the appropriate fee to Council’s Customer Service Centre.

To learn more about your rights to accessing government information, visit the IPC website at or call 1800 463 626 between 9.00am and 5.00pm Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays).


Responsibility for information on this site

Wentworth Shire Council makes no guarantee as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this website. All of the material on this site is for information and communication purposes only and does not constitute legal or any other advice upon which you can rely. Whilst Wentworth Shire Council endeavours to ensure that this information provided on the website is accurate and complete, it does not guarantee that the information is current, complete or correct and accepts no responsibility in these respects.

Copyright Disclaimer

Council’s responsibility to release information protected by Copyright.

Wentworth Shire Council provides access to information in accordance with the requirements of the GIPA Act, however legal Copyright provisions currently apply.

Information held on Council’s website is intended for general use only.  Information and files may be downloaded, stored in cache, displayed and printed. Content must not be modified, copied, reproduced, or republished without the consent of Wentworth Shire Council.

Where Council is not the copyright owner of these documents, authority from the document owner may be necessary before Council can release copies of documents to members of the public. An example of this would be property plans and property reports lodged as part of a DA application.