ACCESS TO INFORMATION
Accessing Council’s information
To promote open, accountable, fair and effective government in NSW, members of the public have a right to access government information. This right is restricted only when there is an overriding public interest against disclosing the particular information.
What is public access to government information?
You have the right to access certain information under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (GIPA Act). This legislation replaced the former Freedom of Information Act on 1 July 2010.
The objective of the GIPA Act is to make government information more accessible to the public by:
- requiring government agencies to make certain sorts of information freely available,
- encouraging government agencies to proactively release as much other information as possible,
- giving the public an enforceable right to make access applications for government information, and
- restricting access to information only when there is an overriding public interest against disclosure or when otherwise required by law.
The Information and Privacy Commission oversees public access to government information in NSW. You can find out more about your right to information and ways to access government information on the Information and Privacy Commission website.
Open access information about Council
Council publishes a range of open access information free of charge, as required under the GIPA Act.
There is no need to submit a formal access application for open access information.
Follow these links and/or read the below information to find out more about our development application (DA) documents, policy documents, procedural documents, agency information guide, register of government contracts, register of public land, disclosure log of access applications, and details of information not disclosed to the public.
Unfortunately DA documentation is not currently able to be published on Council’s website. Instead you can access DA documents free of charge by, visiting our Cootamundra Council Office at 81 Wallendoon Street or emailing us at: email@example.com and specifying the DA documents you require access to.
Please note: Some documentation within a DA application cannot be provided due to copyright infringement.
This is a list of Councils adopted policies.
This is a list of procedures that are required to implement Council policies.
Our ‘agency information guide’ includes information about our structure and functions and lists the kind of information that will be made publicly available.
Register of Government Contracts
A requirement of the GIPA Act (Division 5 Government contracts with private sector) is that Council maintain a register of government contracts valued at $150,000 or more.
Council is currently working on its Government Contracts Register and will have this avaliable when compiled.
Under Section 53 of the Local Government Act, Council maintains a register of all land vested in it or under its control.
On the Disclosure Log you will find information that Council has released as a result of a formal access application. As Council considers release of this information to be in the public interest, other interested members of the public may have a chance to view this information on request.
Council has had no information requests that have been assessed as being relevant to public interest, therefor there are no entries in the Disclosure Log at this time.
Register of Orders and Notices
Council currently does not have any Orders or Notices to register.
Council must keep a record of any open access information that we do not make publicly available on the basis of an overriding public interest against disclosure. The record must indicate only the general nature of the information concerned.
Documents Tabled in Parliament
Council does not have any documents tabled in Parliament.
In accordance with Section 377 of the Local Government Act 1993, Council has granted the following delegations.
How can I access information held by Council?
Search on this website
We will publish information on this website as it becomes available. If you cannot find the information you are looking for on this website, you can call us on 1300 459 689 to ask if the information has been released by Council, either on this website or in another form.
Please note that Council provides some information upon payment of a fee, for example a Building Records Search for conveyancing purposes.
Make an informal request
If the information you are after has not already been published by Council, but is information which raises no particular legal concerns or public interest considerations as to why it should be kept confidential, then we may be able to release it to you on request, without you having to make a formal access application.
If you think this applies to the information you’re seeking, you can either call us on 1300 459 689 to make an informal request through the relevant area of Council which holds the information, please note that we may require you to provide details of your request in writing.
Alternatively please fill in a Government Information Informal Access application form, providing as much detail as possible, and emailing to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Council will endeavor to respond within 10 working days.
Generally we try to release information without the need for you to make a formal access application, unless there is good reason to require one. However, under the GIPA Act, we are not required to release information without an access application.
Council reserves the right to require you to lodge an access application, particularly if any of the following applies:
- the information relates to someone else (a third party)
- you request a large amount of information, or information which has to be retrieved from archives
- it would take a substantial amount of time or resources to deal with your request, or
- there are significant public interest considerations that need to be taken into account.
Make a formal access application
If the information you are seeking is not on this website, and is not otherwise routinely provided by Council on request, then you have a right to formally apply for access to specific information.
You can make a formal access application by downloading and completing the Government Information Formal Access application form and sending it to us at the following address:
Cootamundra-Gundagai Regional Council PO Box 420 Cootamundra NSW 2590
or by email to: email@example.com
You must include payment of the required $30 application fee with your application using the credit card payment form provided.
The GIPA Act says that we are only able to accept access applications that:
- are in writing and sent to us at the address above,
- include as much specific information as necessary to enable us to identify the information you are asking for,
- clearly state that you are requesting information under the Government Information Public Access Act 2009,
- enclose the $30 application fee, and
- have a return postal address as the address for correspondence.
If your application does not include these 5 things, it will be invalid and will not be processed. If that happens we will let you know and help you if possible by explaining how you can make a valid application.
Otherwise we will write to acknowledge receipt of a valid application within 5 working days, and will deal with your application within 20 working days (subject to any extension of time allowed for by the GIPA Act). If any extension of time is required to deal with your application, we will let you know in writing.
Application fees and processing charges
The fee for making an access application is $30. This covers the first hour of processing time.
We can impose a further processing charge at the rate of $30 per hour for time spent dealing with your application. Access to information can be made conditional upon receiving payment of the processing charge.
In some circumstances we may request payment of an advance deposit for us to continue dealing with your application. We will let you know in writing if this applies to your application.
In some cases, discounts to the processing charge may apply, for example on financial hardship grounds – for more details, see the Information and Privacy Commission’s fact sheet.
If you wish to apply for a financial hardship discount we require you to provide evidence of your eligibility, from the following:
- current valid pensioner concession card, issued by the Commonwealth
- full-time student
- non-profit organisation (including a person applying on behalf of a non-profit organisation)
- any discounts are applied only to the processing charge, not to the application fee. However, if you are eligible for a discount then your application fee will apply to the first 2 hours of processing time