How to access Council information
As Council is a Government Agency, members of the public have a legally enforceable right to access most government information and can expect this access to be open and freely available unless there is an overriding public interest consideration against disclosure of the information.
Council has a variety of services and functions which require collection and retention of information in accordance with the State Records Act 1998 (NSW). Inspection of Council documents within business hours at Council’s Administration Building (46-48 Maitland Street, Narrabri) is generally free, although charges may apply depending on the nature of the request.
Most Council information is available on this website and can be found by using the search function at the top of every page.
Requesting Information via a GIPA Application
If you cannot find what you are looking for on Council’s website, you may need to apply to access the information. A Council may also allow you to access other documents, but this decision on access must be made in accordance with the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (NSW) (GIPA Act) to consider if the information is in the public interest to disclose.
The GIPA Act and further guidance provided by the NSW Information Privacy Commission (IPC) specifies which Government information may be made available.
You may apply to access Council Information through either a Formal or Informal GIPA Application:
If you are seeking information that Council may hold but it belongs to another person, Council will need that person’s consent to release the information:
Tips for Framing your Access Application checklist is available on the Information and Privacy Commission website, which includes key information that can assist with correct completion of the access application.
Please note that under changes to the GIPA Act in September 2018, Councils are no longer required to provide records of development applications or associated documents made before 1 July 2010.
If you are unhappy with the outcome of your GIPA Application, you may see an Internal Review of the decision on access:
As a public sector agency, Council is required to make the details of contracts awarded to private companies publicly available on a Contracts Register.
This information must be available within 45 days of the contract becoming effective and continue to be available for either 20 working days or until the obligations under the contract have been satisfied, whichever is the longer period.
The Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (GIPA Act) provides for three different classes of contracts, each with different information requirements.
Further details are available on the NSW Information and Privacy Commission website.
Register of Government Contracts(PDF, 283KB)
Terms and Conditions
- You must submit an application to access information under the GIPA Act in writing (Council recommends you use one of the forms provided above).
- If your formal application is declined/unable to be processed, Council does not refund your lodgement fee.
- Documents can be subject to copyright in accordance with the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth) which protects copyright and as such Council is unable to reproduce these documents without the express written permission of the copyright owner.
- Plans and specifications for any residential parts of a proposed building (such as floor plans) cannot be provided to third parties.
- Depending on the age of the information, there may be a lack of documentation, and any documents available may be of low quality.
When accessing Council documents, the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998 (NSW) (PPIP Act) will apply. The PPIP Act helps to protect personal information and the privacy of individuals.
Councils are required to develop a Privacy Management Plan in accordance with the PPIPA Act and other relevant legislation.
You can find out more about your right to information and new ways to access NSW government information at the below:
Information and Privacy Commission Website