Access to information

Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (the GIPA Act)

In 2009, the Information and Privacy Commission NSW (IPC) introduced new requirements for information access of government agencies to ensure greater public accessibility to information.

The Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (the GIPA Act) replaced the Freedom of Information Act 1989 and section 12 of the Local Government Act 1993 in NSW.

For a better understanding of your right to information you can access the Information and Privacy Commission NSW website

For further information refer to Council’s:

How to access information

Information held by Council can be accessed in the following ways:

Mandatory disclosure (Open Access Information)

Under section 18 of the GIPA Act certain information is prescribed that must be made available free of charge on Council's website, this includes:

  • Policy documents
  • Disclosure Log of formal access applications
  • Agency Information Guide
  • Government Contracts Register
  • Record of open access information that is not made available to the public on the basis of an overriding public interest against disclosure

Proactive release

Council can make information available to the public free of charge on its website if there is an overriding public interest to do so. This is in addition to the Mandatory Release information. Information for inclusion under proactive release is reviewed annually.

Some of this information is available on our website free of charge and some information is available in other formats for a small charge.

Refer to Council’s Fees and Charges.

Informal Release

If after reviewing Council's website you are still not able to find the information you are looking for, you should make an Informal request for information.

There is no fee required to lodge an informal request – however, please be mindful that there may be fees and charges associated with printing and scanning. Refer to Council’s Fees and Charges.

You can lodge an Informal Access request via our online Customer Request Management system

Lodge an Informal Access request

Refer to lnner West Council Agency Information Guide (PDF 938.1KB) for the type of information that is available for informal release.

Formal Release

You should make a Formal Access application if you can’t access the requested information through the other three ways listed above.

The GIPA Act states that members of the public have a right to access information unless there are overriding public interest considerations in favour of non-disclosure of the information.

Examples of where a Formal Access Application is necessary include:

  • When searching for and retrieving the information sought would require a diversion of resources and time
  • Where the information sought involves details of third parties who must be consulted.

There is a $30 application fee for a formal access application and a processing charge of $30 per hour. The application fee counts towards the first hour of processing. Refer to Council’s Fees and Charges.

Processing time for a Formal Access Application is 20 business days with possible extension.

Access to Information - Formal Access Application (PDF 67.5KB)
Access to Information - Formal Access Application (DOCX 121.8KB)

Steps to get the information you want

Step 1: Search the website (using the search box at the top of the page) to see if the information is already available.

Step 2: Check the Inner West Council Agency Information Guide (PDF 938.1KB) to see if it is open access information. The Agency Information Guide will tell you how to obtain the information.

Step 3: If the information is not routinely available (i.e. not open access information) you need to make an Informal Access Information request or a Formal Access application. Please read the details about the different types of applications above.

Copying and scanning of documents

Legal copyright provisions apply to the copying of all documents at Inner West Council. Due to the Copyright Act 1968, there may be documents which may not be copied, without consent of the copyright owner. Some of these documents could include certain building plans, publications and consultant's reports.

Copying and scanning charges may apply if documents are available. Fees and charges are outlined in Council's Fees and Charges.

Disclosure log

The GIPA Act requires Council to keep and publish a record (called its "disclosure log") that records information about access applications made to Council to which it provides access (to some or all of the information applied for) if the information is considered by Council to be of interest to other members of the public.

Inner West Council

Former councils

Other useful links

For further information please contact the Information and Privacy Commission NSW.

Privacy notification

Application forms and/or names and addresses of people making an application is information that is publicly available.

The supply of information is voluntary. If you do not provide all details requested, Council may be unable to process your application.

The details you provide are stored at Council Offices and are not made publicly available unless there is an overriding public interest to do so under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (GIPA Act) and in accordance with section 18(1)(b) of the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998 (NSW).

For more information about your privacy, please refer to Council’s Privacy Management Plan or contact

Privacy Management Plan (PDF 111.7KB)
Privacy Management Plan (DOCX 153.8KB)

Internal Ombudsman

Find information on the Internal Ombudsman page.

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Page last updated: 15 Jul 2022