Access to Information

Central Coast Council is committed to open, accountable and transparent government through the efficient and useful release of Council held information.  Your right to access that information is governed by the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (NSW) (GIPA Act).

The GIPA Act provides a four pronged regime for accessing information from all NSW government agencies, including Council:

Mandatory proactive release (section 6 of the GIPA Act)

The GIPA Act outlines the information Council is to make ‘open access information’. This information needs to be publically available on Council’s website. This includes, but is not limited to:
  • Council meetings and agendas
  • Annual Reports
  • information about Council's policies and procedures; and
  • information about development applications, local approvals and orders.
A number of publicly available documents are on the Access to Information Documents page.

Authorised proactive release (section 7 of the GIPA Act)

The GIPA Act authorises Council to proactively release information where there is no overriding public interest against doing so.

It is exclusively a matter for Council’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) to determine whether information held by Council is proactively released. The CEO must ensure that all commercially sensitive information is redacted from documents that are proactively released, as well as ensuing that all personal information and personal identifying information is redacted from any document released so that Council complies with the Privacy and Personal Information Act 1998.

As part of Council’s proactive release program a range of information has been made publicly available, visit the proactive release page.

Informal release of information (section 8 of the GIPA Act)

The GIPA Act provides for members of the public to apply for information informally. Information will be informally released where appropriate and provided there is no overriding public interest against release of the information.
 
It is likely Council will require a formal access to information application to be submitted, if the request involves personal or sensitive information or if consultation with a third party is required.
 
Informal request for release of information form

Formal Access applications (section 9 of the GIPA Act)

The GIPA Act provides for members of the public to apply for access to information formally. Council makes formal decisions on these applications. Charges and time limits apply for this kind of application. These decisions can be appealed internally or externally to the Information Commissioner and/or to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT).
 
Formal access application forms need to be lodged with a $30 application fee. This fee covers two hours of processing time. After the two hours the processing fee is $30 per hour.  In certain circumstances Council will apply a 50% reduction to the processing charges (not the application fee). For example, in cases where the applicant is a Concession card holder, is suffering from financial hardship or the application is on behalf of a not for profit.
 
The fee for access applications is a statutory fee that does not cover the actual cost to Council.
 
Formal access to information request form

Copyright

Council’s ability to provide access to certain information, under both formal and informal access applications, can be impacted by Copyright restrictions. In certain circumstances Council cannot provide copies of information unless it receives the copyright owner’s written consent. Please have the copyright owner complete the Consent to Council - Copyright form and provide it will your request.

See the Copyright FAQ for further details, including advice on how to locate the copyright owner.

Disclosure Log of Access Applications

Council's disclosure log records details about information that has already been released in response to a Formal Access Application and may be of interest to other members of the public.  This log is on the Access to Information Documents page. The information listed in the log can be accessed by contacting Council's Legal and Information Officer on 4325 8222.

Council updates its disclosure log on a regular basis and in accordance with the GIPA Act.

Additional Information

For any questions relating to accessing Council information please contact Council's Legal and Information Officer on 4325 8222.

Further information about your right to information is also available from the Office of the Australian Information Commission (OAIC), the NSW Information and Privacy Commission (IPC) and NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT).