Access to Information

Access to Information

On 1 July 2010 new right to information legislation, The Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (the GIPA Act) came into effect, replacing the former Freedom of Information (FOI) Act.

The GIPA Act requires local councils to make certain government information publicly available.

Open access information includes the following:

  1. Publication Guide
  2. Information about the agency contained in any document tabled in parliament by or on behalf of the agency (other than any document tabled by order of either House of Parliament)
  3. Policy documents
  4. Annual Report
  5. Integrated Planning and Reporting Documents
  6. Agendas/Minutes of Council Meetings
  7. Agendas/Minutes of Committee Meetings
  8. Disclosure log of open access applications
  9. The agency’s record of the open access information (if any) that it does not make publicly available on the basis of an overriding public interest against disclosure
  10. Contracts Register

There are four ways in which government information is available:

  1. Mandatory Release:
    This generally includes information found on Council’s website such as policy and general documents, the current Publication Guide and Disclosures Log.
  2. Proactive Release:
    These are additional documents that are made available to the public on Council’s website and at the Administration Centre.
  3. Informal Request:
    This is for specific information. Under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009Council can choose to release this information without the need for a formal access application. Access via this path may be subject to reasonable conditions such as photocopying charges. Requests for information should be emailed to Council at [email protected] or contacting Council at the Administration Centre on 02 6836 5888.
  4. Formal Access Application:
    If you have not been able to obtain the information you need through any other form of access you can lodge a Formal Access Application. Unlike the Informal Request you have a legally enforceable right to be provided with access unless there is an overriding public interest against disclosure of the information. An application fee and processing charge may apply. A formal Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 Application Form will need to be completed and submitted to Council with the application fee. The form is available here

You can find out more about the new legislation by going to the Office of the Information Commissioner NSW website.

Planning Decisions

This page publishes the Register of Planning Decisions made at Council or Committee Meetings and includes the names of Councillors who supported the decision and those who opposed (or taken to have opposed the decision).

A copy of the Planning Decisions Register is available for perusal by accessing the link below. 

Annual Report

Under Section 125(1) of the Government Information (Public Access) Act, each agency must, within 4 months after the end of each reporting year, prepare an Annual Report on the agency’s obligations under this Act for submission to the Minister responsible for the agency.

A copy of the current Annual GIPA Report is available for perusal by accessing the link below. 

Disclosure of Interest Returns

Cobar Shire Council’s Councillors and Staff Disclosure of Interest Returns can be available upon request at Council’s Administration Building, 36 Linsley Street, Cobar. 


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