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Public access to information

Accessing Council 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.

See below to find out more about our development application (DA) documents, policy documents, information guide, register of government contracts, register of public land, disclosure log of access applications, and details of information not disclosed to the public.

DA documentation

Unfortunately DA documentation is not currently able to be published on Council's website. Instead you can access DA documents free of charge by contacting us on (02) 4474 1000, visiting our front counter at 89 Vulcan St Moruya, or emailing us at: council@esc.nsw.gov.au and specifying the DA documents you require access to.

Please note, in some cases, copies of DA documentation cannot be provided due to copyright infringement. If this occurs we will offer 'view only' access to any copyright material by appointment at our office.

Policy documents

Information Guide

Our 'agency information guide' includes information about our structure and functions and lists the kind of information that will be made publicly available – see Council’s Information Guide.

Register of government contracts

Certain contracts that Council enters with the private sector, as well as certain tender information, is made publicly available at the following link:

Register of public land

Under Section 53 of the Local Government Act, Council maintains a register of all land vested in it or under its control. More information can be found at the following link:

Government Information (Public Access) Disclosure Log

On our Disclosure Log you will find information that Council has released as a result of an 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.

Register of Orders and Notices

Council maintains a register of Orders and Notices which have been issued in the Eurobodalla as required under the Government Information (Public Access) Act, 2009. The register is updated regularly and shows Orders and Notices issued in the current Financial Year. Orders and Notices issued in previous years are available on request.

Details of information not disclosed to the public

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.

When we decide that particular "open access information" should not be publicly available, a record of the decision will be made public here:

Documents tabled in Parliament

Council does not have any documents tabled in Parliament.

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 4474 1000 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 call us on 4474 1000 to make an informal request through the relevant area of Council which holds the information. We may ask you to provide details of your request in writing.

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 access application form and sending it to us at the following address:

  • Eurobodalla Shire Council, PO Box 99 Moruya NSW 2537

or by email to:

You must include payment of the required $30 application fee with your application.
For credit card payments please use the Credit card payment form.

Valid applications

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.

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