Accessing Council Information
Your right to information
Cessnock City Council is committed to ensuring all requests to access Council information are processed in a timely and efficient manner and in accordance with:
- NSW Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (GIPA)
- NSW Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998 (PPIPA)
- Copyright Act 1986(Cth)
Cessnock City Council publishes a range of information under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009.To help you apply for access to information Council has adopted the following documents.
- Public Information Access Policy - outlines Council’s commitment to openness and transparency regarding accessing Council information.
- Guide for Accessing Council Information - outlines what information is held, how it can be accessed, exemptions and rights to review.
- Agency Information Guide - describes Council’s structure, functions, how it operates, what government information is held and how the public can access this information.
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 can contact a customer service officer for assistance or refer to the Guide for Accessing Council Information.
Some information can be provided via ‘informal release’ provided no third party personal information is included. Complete an Informal Access Request Form.
Information that holds someone else’s personal information will require a formal access application because consultation with a third party is required. Complete a Formal Access Application Form (application fee of $30.00 applies).
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 an Informal Access Request Form to allow Council to process your request.
Open Access Information
Council is required to provide many of its documents as open access information including:
Codes, plans, policies and reports
Registers and returns
Designated Persons Disclosure of Interest Returns (available on request at Council)
|Disclosure of Political Donations and Gifts||Land and property Register|
|Register of Delegations (available on request at Council)||Register of Government Contracts|
|Register of Investments (Reported in the Agenda of the second Council Meeting of each month)|
Agendas, business papers and minutes
- Agendas and business papers for Council and Committee meetings, not including business papers for matters considered when part of a meeting is closed to the public
- Minutes of Council and Committee meetings – if any part of a meeting is closed to the public then only the resolutions and recommendations that were made are included in the 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.
Access to personal information
When accessing Council documents, Council must comply with the NSW Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998 which protects personal information and the privacy of individuals. Councils are required to develop a Privacy Management Plan in accordance with the Privacy and Personal Information Act and comply with other legislation regarding public access to information.
Contact Councils Customer Service Centre on:
Phone: 49934100 or Email: email@example.com
Or 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 (IPC) website: www.ipc.nsw.gov.au.