Access to Information

Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009

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. This Act aims to make information available to all sectors of the community with a view to achieving more open, accountable, fair and transparent government. Release of information by Council under the GIPA Act will be determined by the public interest test. As provided by section 13 of the Act, there is an overriding public interest against disclosure of information if (and only if) there are public interest considerations against disclosure and, on balance, those considerations outweigh the public interest considerations in favour of disclosure.

Ways in which the public can access government information

There are four ways in which government information is available under the GIPA Act:

  1. Mandatory release: Certain information, referred to as open access information, must be published on the agency's website, free of charge.
  2. Proactive release: Beyond mandatory release, agencies are encouraged (and authorised) to release as much government information as possible.
  3. Informal request: Agencies are encouraged to informally release information, by excusing the need for a formal application (and fee) to be submitted.
  4. Formal application: This is the last resort if information is not accessible in any of the above three ways. Decisions made in response to formal applications can be reviewed. 
Where can I get more information about right to information?
You can find out more about right to information, the public interest test and the ways to access government information under the GIPA Act on the Information & Privacy Commission NSW (IPC) website. The IPC is an independent statutory authority responsible for overseeing the provisions of the GIPA Act.

• Go to Information and Privacy Commission
• Email
• Call 1800 472 679
• Mail GPO Box 7011, Sydney NSW 2001
• Visit Level 11, 1 Castlereagh Street, Sydney NSW 2000

Copyright Disclaimer
Council's responsibility to release information protected by Copyright.
Forbes Shire Council provides access to information in accordance with the requirements of 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 property reports lodged as part of a DA application.