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Access to Information

About the GIPA Act

Access to information is regulated by the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (‘GIPA Act’), which replaced the Freedom of Information Act 1989.

The GIPA Act provides an open and transparent process for giving the public access to information and encourages the proactive release of information. It requires us to make information publicly available unless there is an overriding public interest against disclosure. This involves applying a public interest test.

In accordance with section 20 of the GPIA Act the Council has an agency guide that:

  • describes the structure and functions of the Council
  • describes the structure and functions of the Council
  • describes the ways in which the Council’s functions affect members of the public,
  • specifies any arrangements that enable members of the public to participate in the formulation of the Council’s policies and the exercise of its functions
  • identifies the various kinds of government information held by the agency
  • identifies the kinds of government information held by the agency that the agency makes (or will make) publicly available
  • specifies the manner in which the agency makes (or will make) government information publicly available, and
  • identifies the kinds of information that are (or will be) made publicly available free of charge and those kinds for which a charge is (or will be) imposed.

To view the Council’s Agency Information Guide please click here


There are four ways to access Council Information.

1. Open access information
We are required to make certain information publicly available, free of charge, on our website. This includes policies, reports, agendas and development application information.

To access this information click here.

2. Proactively released information
Council proactively makes a range of information publicly available on our website. We also regularly review information to see if it can be released.

3. Informal request
If you can’t find the information you’re looking for, you can apply for it by making an informal request. There is no application fee. A request may take up to 20 business days to process. Subject to reasonable conditions, the information may be released informally. Decisions in relation to informal requests are not reviewable.

Informal requests can be made by emailing or in writing, addressed to the Right to Information Officer, Lockhart Shire Council, 65 Green Street (PO Box 21) Lockhart NSW 2656. 

4. Access application (formal)
If you can’t access the information through the above methods, you will need to complete a formal application. 

This may be the case where:

  • a large amount of information is requested
  • there are public interest considerations against releasing the information. For example, if it contains personal information or a third party’s business information.
  • third party consultation is required.

An application fee of $30 applies. Council may also impose a processing charge of $30 per hour. For more information on fees and charges please click here.

Access applications must be decided within 20 working days of receipt. However, the decision period can be extended in certain circumstances. For example, where third party consultation is required.

You will receive a formal notice of decision explaining why the information has or has not been released.

If access is refused, or you arenot satisfied with the information received, you can seek a review of the decision through:

  • an internal review – a $40 fee is payable
  • an external review by the NSW Information Commissioner
  • an external review by the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT)

For more information about your review rights, please click here.


Copyright issues may arise when requests are made for copies of documents held by Council. A large amount of information, which is available for public access in accordance with the GIPA Act and other relevant legislation, belongs to third parties and is the subject of copyright, such as plans and reports submitted with development applications.

The Commonwealth Copyright Act 1968 takes precedence over State legislation. Copyright laws apply to information assessed and applicants are advised to seek the consent of the copyright owner/holder before reproducing the information in any way.

Further information

If you have any questions about accessing information, please contact the Right to Information Officer as follows:

Right to Information Officer
Lockhart Shire Council
PO Box 21
(65 Green Street)

(02) 6920 5305

For more information about the GIPA Act, please visit the Information and Privacy Commission’s website.


When completing your application please ensure all required sections have been completed, including Declaration, Consent & Confirmation sections on page 3. Please also ensure that a photocopy of both sides of your Centrelink Pension Card is submitted with your application.

If your residence is in two names and are both applying then please complete a separate form for each owner.

If you have any queries please contact the Revenue Officer on (02) 6920 5305 or by emailing

Pursuant to Section 25 of the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009, an agency must keep a record (called its “disclosure log”) that records information about access applications made to the agency that the agency decides by deciding to provide access (to some or all of the information applied for) if the information is information that the agency considers may be of interest to other members of the public.

The Disclosure Log for Lockhart Shire Council is available below: