Access to Information

The Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (GIPA Act) extends the right of community members to have access to information held by State Government departments and local and public authorities.

The New Government Information (Public Access) Act aims to make more information available to all sectors in the community with a view to achieving more open, accountable, fair and transparent government.

Ways in which the public can access government information

Under the GIPA Act, a person seeking access to Council information has a right to be provided with access unless there is an overriding public interest against disclosure of the information.

Access to government information can be exercised in four ways:

1. Mandatory release (Open Access)

The following publications constitute open access information:

  1. Agency information guide (PDF 510.3KB) - provides the community with the structure and functions of Forbes Shire Council and details on how each function affects them. In the guide it identifies what information is publicly available to members of the public, how to access government information and how to be involved in Council's decision making processes.
  2. Council Policies
  3. Disclosure Log (PDF 82.9KB) of formal access applications where in Council's opinion the information released may be of interest to other members of the public
  4. Register of contract (PDF 246.9KB) worth more than $150,000 that Council has with private sector bodies
  5. Additional open access information as defined for Local Government

2. Authorised proactive release

Council is encouraged to release additional information, not considered mandatory release information, which may be of interest to the general public.

Any proactive release must be exercised in an appropriate manner by or with the authority of Council's principal officer free of charge (or at the lowest reasonable cost)

Proactive Release Documents

Pecuniary Interest Returns

3. Informal access applications

Other information held by Council is authorised to be released in response to an informal request, subject to any reasonable conditions that Council may wish to impose. This may include information not currently available on Council's website or a request for an individuals own personal information. Please complete the Informal Access Application form and submit it to or PO Box 333, Forbes NSW 2871 .

Informal Access Application Form (DOCX 55KB)

4. Formal access applications

In some limited circumstances, people seeking access to government information will need to submit a formal request. This should occur if one or more of the following apply to the information requested:

  • It is of a sensitive nature that requires careful consideration in terms of overriding public interest for and against disclosure.
  • It contains personal (of another person) or confidential information where consultation with other agencies or third parties is required.
  • It would involve an unreasonable amount of time and/or resources to provide the information requested.

Please complete the GIPA Formal Access Application form and submit it to or PO Box 333, Forbes NSW 2871 .

Formal Access Application Form (DOCX 56.5KB)

Additional Information

The GIPA Act is complemented by the Privacy and Personal Information Act 1998 (PIPPA), which establishes an individual's right to amend personal information in records held by councils and other government agencies.

For more information on GIPA and PPIPA, please visit the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner website.


Responsibility for information on this site

Forbes Shire Council makes no guarantee as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this website. All of the material on this site is for information and communication purposes only and does not constitute legal or any other advice upon which you can rely. Whilst Council endeavours to ensure that the information provided on the website is accurate and complete, it does not guarantee that the information is current, complete or correct and accepts no responsibility in these respects.

Copyright Disclaimer

Council's responsibility to release information protected by Copyright.

Forbes Shire Council provides access to information in accordance with the GIPA Act, however legal Copyright provisions currently apply.

Information held on Council's website is intended for general use only. Information and files may be downloaded, stored in cache, displayed and printed. Content must not be modified, copied, reproduced, or republished without the consent of Forbes Shire Council.

Where Council is not the copyright owner of the documents, authority from the document owner may be necessary before Council can release copies of documents to members of the public. An example of this would be property plans and reports lodged as part of a Development Application.