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What Information Can Council Give Me?

The Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (NSW)(GIPA Act) replaced the Freedom of Information Act 1989 on 1 July 2010.  It introduced a new right to information system designed to meet the community's expectations of a more open and transparent government.

The new system is focused on making government information more readily available.

This means that a government agency, such as Coffs Harbour City Council, must release information unless there is an overriding public interest against disclosure.

What does that mean for Coffs Harbour City Council?

Where there is a presumption in favour of the disclosure of Coffs Harbour City Council's information, there are four ways in which it will be made available to the public i.e. by:

  • Mandatory release: The GIPA Act requires that certain information must be made publically available by Council that is also referred to as "open access information". Council must include this information on Council's website and if this is not possible, access is provided in another way free of charge. This information includes Council's policy documents, the Information Guide, a disclosure log, register of government contracts and other information specified by the GIPA Regulation 2009. You may refer to the table that details this Publicly Available Information and how to access the listed information.
  • Proactive release: Council must conduct yearly reviews to consider releasing more information to the public on Council's website or by any other means, either free of charge and at the lowest reasonable cost.
  • Informal release: You can request Council to provide specific information that is not publicly available nor proactively released on Council's website or by other means. Council aims to release information without the need for a formal application. You may contact Council in person, by phone, email or in writing to specify your requirements. If you prefer you may complete an Informal Access Request form.
  • Formal release: This is the last resort, if you haven't been able to get the information through an Informal Access Request. You must lodge your request in writing stating that it is a Formal Access Application under the GIPA Act, include payment of the $30 application fee, provide a postal address for corresponding with you on this application and specify the information you seek to enable that it can be identified by Council. Alternatively, you may complete a Formal Access Application.

Read the GIPA Act
Go to the Information and Privacy Commission
Go to the Access to Information Forms