If you are unable to obtain your required information through any of the previous methods, a formal access application may be necessary. With a formal request you have a legally enforceable right to be provided with access unless there is an overriding public interest against disclosure of the information or the information is excluded under Schedule 2 of the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009.
These requests are generally for:
- Large volumes of information that involves extensive search
- Information which could not be provided informally
- Material that is sensitive in nature and requires careful balancing of public interest considerations
A valid access application, must:
- Be in writing sent to or lodged at Council
- Clearly indicate that it is an access application made under the GIPA Act
- Be accompanied by any application fees (refer Council’s Fees & Charges Schedule)
- State a postal address in Australia as the address for correspondence in connection with the application
- Include such information as is reasonably necessary to enable the government information applied for to be identified
Council must give the applicant notice of its decision within 20 working days, although this time can be extended under section 57(2) to consult with third parties or retrieve information from archives. Processing charges per hour may also apply as part of deciding the application.
Under the Act, we must consider the privacy and personal interests of any third parties before making a determination as to whether there is an overriding public interest against or for disclosure of the information.
Council is not permitted to make open access information available in any way that would constitute an infringement of copyright.
Council keeps a record of the open access information that it does not make publicly available on the basis of an overriding public interest against disclosure. The record is to indicate only the general nature of the information concerned.
Application and processing fees apply for formal requests. Go to our Forms & Policies page to download the Formal Access Application Form and present it with the application fees to Council Offices.