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 and Regulation.
See below to find out more about our open access information including 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.
There is no need to submit a formal access application for open access information.
Unfortunately DA documentation is not currently able to be published on Council's website.
You can access some DA documentation by submitting an informal request. There is no charge for accessing DA information dated after July 2010. A flat fee of $60 applies to access DA information dated prior to July 2010.
For more information about the process of informal requests to view information from property files, please contact Council’s Customer Service team:
- T: 02 4474 7344
- E: Customer service
Please note, in some cases, copies of DA documentation (for example, plans and reports) 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.
Agency Information Guide
Our 'agency information guide' (AIG) adopted under section 20 of the GIPA Act includes information about:
- the structure and functions of Council;
- the ways in which Council's functions (including, in particular, the decision-making functions) affect members of the public;
- arrangements that exist to enable members of the public to participate in the formulation of Council policy and the exercise of Council's functions.
- the various kinds of government information held by Council, the kinds of government information we make publicly available, and the manner in which we make it publicly available.
Our Agency Information Guide is reviewed every 12 months or when information needs to be updated. The current version was reviewed and updated in December 2019 and is due to be reviewed again by the end of December 2020.
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:
Our Disclosure Log contains details of access applications where Council has already released information in response to an access application and Council considers that the released information would also be of interest to other members of the public. The disclosure log is routinely updated annually after the end of October, and may also be updated at other times during the year.
Register of Orders and Notices
Council maintains a register of Orders and Notices that have been issued in Eurobodalla Shire 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.
To access the register, click on the 'Public Orders' link on the left menu:
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 can't 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 public interest considerations as to why it should not be publicly disclosed, 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 write to us, email us or 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
- by email to email@example.com
- by post to Eurobodalla Shire Council, PO Box 99 Moruya NSW 2537.
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
- there are 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.
To make a format access application:
- download and complete the application form:
Government information access application form (160 KB)
- send your completed form to us:
by post: Eurobodalla Shire Council, PO Box 99 Moruya NSW 2537
by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- include payment of the required $30 application fee with your application. For credit card payments please use this form:
Credit card payment form (341 KB)
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
- 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.
- GIPA Annual report 2019-20 (99.3 KB)
- GIPA disclosure log 2020 (228.4 KB)
- Record of open access information not publicly available due to overriding public interest against disclosure (276.9 KB)
- Formal access application (159.8 KB)
- Huntfest Review July 2015 Public.pdf (4.7 MB)
- Agency Information Guide (current) (472.5 KB)