What's On

Accessing Council Information

Your right to information

You can find out more about your right to information and new ways to access NSW government information on the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner (OPC) website at

Council Information

Cessnock City Council publishes a range of information under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009.

Copies of information can generally be made available free of charge although you may have to pay reasonable photocopying charges if you want your own copy. If you have a simple request that can be satisfied by reference to a single file or entry in a register Council can usually respond on the spot, and at no charge. However, in the case of a more complex request or if the file has to be accessed off-site, you may be requested to complete a Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 application form to allow Council to process your request.

Follow the links to access our policies, council information guide, a disclosure log of information applications, details of information not disclosed to the public and our register of government contracts.

How do I get access to information?

Firstly, search Council’s website, to see if the information is already available. If it isn’t already on Council’s website you will need to contact a customer service officer for assistance. The customer service officer will need to decide if the information you have requested:

Open Access Information

Council is required to provide many of its documents as open access information. These include:

Codes, plans, policies and reports

Registers and returns

Agendas, business papers and minutes

Planning and development documents

  • Development applications under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 and associated documents
  • Records of approvals granted, any variation from local policies with reasons for the variation and decisions made on appeals concerning approvals
  • Local policies adopted by Council concerning approvals and orders
  • Records of building certificates under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979
  • Plans of land proposed to be compulsorily acquired by Council
  • Leases and licences for the use of public land classified as community land
  • Environmental planning instruments, development control plans and plans made under sections 94A and 94B of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 that apply to land within Council’s area.

A full list of open access information is located here.

Further information

Further information regarding Accessing Council Information can be found in Council's Public Information Access Policy and Appendicies.
Public Information Access Policy

Council’s Public Information Access Policy has been developed in line with the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (GIPA Act).

Privacy issues

When accessing Council documents, you need to be aware of the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998 which helps to protect personal information and the privacy of individuals. Councils are required to develop a privacy management plan under the Privacy and Personal Information Act and comply with other legislation regarding public access to information. 

If you are refused access to documents on the grounds of privacy, you should read a document called ‘Privacy, you and your local council’. It provides a brief overview of the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act and answers some frequently asked questions. This document is available at the Department of Local Government website at