How to access information

We're committed to assisting members of the community to access information about us under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (GIPA Act). You can access our information in the following ways:


Self-search

Our website contains a wealth of regularly updated open access information, including:

You can also refer to our Agency Information Guide(PDF, 1MB) which describes our organisation including our structure, functions, decisions and information held. 


Contact us

If you're unable to locate the information you need on our website, please contact our customer service team who will advise whether the requested information:

  • is open access information that is already available and how you can access the information
  • can be made available as part of a proactive release of information
  • can be disclosed to you through informal release
  • requires a formal access application

Proactive release

We proactively release information with a commitment to providing as much information as possible at little or no cost.


Informal Access Requests

Open Access information that Council does not publish on the website can be accessed by completing an Informal GIPA Request application. Council will allow access to this information unless there is an overriding public interest against disclosure of the requested information.  

We aim to respond to requests as soon as possible, however response times will vary depending on the current levels of demand on our services and the type of information requested. 


Formal Access Requests

Access to other Council information, such as information of a personal or commercially sensitive nature, can be applied for by completing the Formal GIPA application. This form will also be required if you request access to a large volume of information*. 

Formal access applications must:

  • be in writing using the Formal GIPA application form
  • indicate that the request is made under the GIPA Act
  • be accompanied by a $30 application fee
  • provide a response to all questions on the form
  • provide sufficient detail to enable us to identify the information requested.

The GIPA Act states that where no consultation is required, Council has up to 20 business days to process the application. If the information requires archival retrieval or access to personal information of third parties, Council has 35 business days to process the application.

Please note that we may charge a fee to cover photocopying and/or processing costs where applicable. Please refer to Council’s Fees and Charges(PDF, 2MB) for more information. 

*Some information, such as plans and reports submitted with development applications belongs to third parties and is therefore subject of copyright laws. Copies of this information will not be provided to members of the public unless applicants have the consent of the copyright owner.  


Reviewing an access application decision

If you're not satisfied with our decision, you may request a review of any reviewable decision under the GIPA Act by one of the following methods:

  1. Request an internal review by another officer of Council who is no less senior than the officer who made the original decision. You'll need to complete the Internal Review form and pay the $40 application fee.

  2. Request an external review by the Information and Privacy Commission (IPC). You'll need to contact the IPC directly for more information:
    Phone: 1800 472 679
    Website: www.ipc.nsw.gov.au

  3. Request an external review by the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT). You'll need to contact NCAT directly for more information:

    Phone: 1300 006 228
    Website: www.ncat.nsw.gov.au


Disclosure Log

Information released in response to a formal access request may be of interest to other members of the public. In such cases Council will record details in the disclosure log.(PDF, 239KB)

Information listed in the disclosure log can be accessed by contacting the governance team:

Phone: (02) 4993 4100
Email: governance@cessnock.nsw.gov.au


Access to information is regulated

We aim to ensure all requests to access our information are processed in a timely manner, and always in accordance with:

In addition, we must comply with:


For more information:

You can find out more about your right to information and new ways to access NSW Government information by visiting the Information and Privacy Commission website.