How do I access Council information?
There are four main ways in which Council will provide access to information:
- Mandatory Proactive Release – Open Access Information
Council must make its ‘Open Access Information’ publicly available, free of charge on its website.
- Proactively Released Information
Council will make as much other information as possible publicly available, free of charge (or at the lowest reasonable cost). This information will be placed on Council’s website.
- Informal Release
If you can’t find the information you’re looking for, you can apply for it by making an informal request. There is no application fee for informal requests. However, it should be noted that such requests may take up time to be processed depending on staff availability. Subject to any reasonable conditions, the information may be released informally. Decisions in relation to informal requests are not reviewable.
Informal requests can be made by emailing email@example.com or by letter addressed to:
Bland Shire Council
PO Box 21
West Wyalong NSW 2671
The completion of an Application for Access to Information(PDF, 306KB) form to accompany your request will assist Council in identifying the appropriate information.
- Formal Access Application
If you are unable to access the information through the above methods, you will need to complete an Application for Access to Information form(PDF, 306KB) and submit it along with an application fee of $30. Council may also impose a processing charge of $30 per hour for those applications which require a significant period of time. Please refer to the fact sheet - fees and charges under the GIPA Act.
Formal Access Applications may be required where:
- A large amount of information is requested
- There are public interest considerations against releasing the information. For example, if it contains personal information or a third party’s business information.
- Third party consultation is required.
The validity of Formal Access Applications is determined within five (5) working days of receipt and payment of the application fee. Applications must also be decided within 20 working days of receipt. However, the decision period can be extended in certain circumstances; for example, where third party consultation is required.
You will receive a formal notice of decision explaining why the information has or has not been released.
If access is refused, or you are not satisfied with the information received, you can seek a review of the decision through:
- An Internal Review(PDF, 188KB). A fee is payable in accordance with Council’s adopted Revenue Policy.
- An External Review by the NSW Information Commissioner.
- An External Review by the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT).
For more information about you review rights, please refer to the fact sheet - your review rights under the GIPA Act.
If you have any questions about accessing information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 02 6972 2266.
For further information about the GIPA Act, please visit the Information and Privacy Commission's website.