Access to information (GIPA)

Parkes Shire Council is committed to open, accountable and transparent government through the timely release of information in accordance with the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009(GIPA Act).

Parkes Shire Council currently provides a range of information under the GIPA Act and is progressively adding more information to our website. 

Further information about your right to information, the public interest test, and the methods to access Council information under the GIPA Act is available from the Information and Privacy Commission (IPC), which is an independent statutory authority responsible for overseeing the provisions of the GIPA Act. Please note that the IPC does not provide legal advice to members of the public. 

How do I get the information I want?

Step 1:     Search Council's website to see if the information you are seeking is already available. A lot information about Council can already be found online.

Step 2:    Check Council's Access to Information Held by Council policy and procedure and Agency Information Guide(PDF, 15MB).

Step 3:     If the information is not routinely available, you will need to lodge an Access to Information Application (downloadable below). Council encourages requests for information to be made, initially, under informal request provisions of the GIPA Act. Once your application is received, Council staff will determine whether or not your request should alternatively be made under formal access provisions. If it is decided that your request should be handled under formal access provisions, staff will notify you and request payment of the $30 formal access application fee to validate your application.

Step 4:     If you're still unsure which approach to follow, please contact Council and ask to speak to a GIPA Right to Information Officer.


Accessing information

Parkes Shire Council will assess all requests for access to documents and information in a timely manner and in accordance with the GIPA Act. 

Council has developed an Access to Information Held by Council policy and procedure which sets out the documents and types of information that are routinely available to members of the public, as well as those that will not generally be available. 

Where practicable, Council will deal with requests to inspect documents, in accord with the GIPA Act, free of charge, but a reasonable photocopying fee may be payable under the Act for copies of documents. (The provision of copies of documents is subject to copyright legislation and explained in more detail in Council’s Access to Information Held by Council policy and Agency Information Guide). (PDF, 15MB)


What kinds of information can be released?

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

1. Mandatory Release

Under the law, agencies need to publicly release certain information on their website unless there is an overriding public interest against doing so. Generally, open access information must be available on an agency’s website. A list of particular information needed to be released is provided in a regulation under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (GIPA Act). 

2. Proactive release

If it is in the public interest, agencies are authorised and encouraged to release as much other information as possible, free of charge or at the lowest possible cost. 

3. Informal request

Contact the agency and ask for information. This is known as an informal request. Agencies can release information informally, subject to any reasonable conditions. 

4. Formal application

If the information cannot be accessed through the above methods, you can make an access application. Decisions made in response to formal applications can be reviewed. 


Open access information

Certain information must be disclosed by us unless it is not in the public interest to do so.  This is referred to as open access information and includes the following:

  1. Agency Information Guide(PDF, 15MB)
  2. Information contained in any document tabled in Parliament by or on behalf of Council (other than any document tabled by order of either House of Parliament)
  3. Policy documents
  4. Disclosure log of access applications(PDF, 107KB)
  5. Register of contracts
  6. Register of notifiable Data Breach

Additional Open Access Information

Council is required to publish the following additional open access information under Schedule 1 to the Government Information (Public Access) Regulation 2009 (NSW) (GIPA Regulation): 

(1)  Information contained in the current version and the most recent previous version of the following records is prescribed as open access information—

(a)  the model code prescribed under section 440 (1) of the LGA and the code of conduct adopted under section 440 (3) of the LGA,

(b)  code of meeting practice,

(c)  annual report,

(d)  annual financial reports,

(e)  auditor’s report,

(f)  management plan,

(g)  EEO management plan,

(h) policy concerning the payment of expenses incurred by, and the provision of facilities to, councillors,

(i)  annual reports of bodies exercising functions delegated by the local authority,

(j)  any codes referred to in the LGA.

(k) information relating to grants administered, or proposed to be administered by Parkes Shire Council

(2)  Information contained in the following records (whenever created) is prescribed as open access information—

(a)  returns of the interests of councillors, designated persons and delegates(PDF, 20MB),

(b)  agendas and business papers for any meeting of the local authority or any committee of the local authority (but not including business papers for matters considered when part of a meeting is closed to the public),

(c)  minutes of any meeting of the local authority or any committee of the local authority, but restricted (in the case of any part of a meeting that is closed to the public) to the resolutions and recommendations of the meeting,

(d)  reports by the Chief Executive of the Office of Local Government presented at a meeting of the local authority in accordance with section 433 of the LGA.

(3)  Information contained in the current version of the following records is prescribed as open access information—

(a)  land register,

(b)  register of investments,

(c)  register of delegations,

(d)  register of graffiti removal work kept in accordance with section 13 of the Graffiti Control Act 2008,

(e)  register of current declarations of disclosures of political donations kept in accordance with section 328A of the LGA,

(f)  the register of voting on planning matters kept in accordance with section 375A of the LGA.

Proactive release of information

In addition to the open access information that we must make available on our website, we also proactively release information with a commitment to providing as much information as possible for free or at the lowest possible cost. It is also our intent to make information easily accessible to the public. 

You can find information on our website or by contacting our Customer Service Centre on 02 6861 2333.

Informal release of information

The informal release provisions under section 8 of the GIPA Act provides Council with the authority to release information without the need for a formal access application. If the information you require is not available on the website, please use one of the below options to request the information. 

Information relating to properties

Please use our Customer Request Management portal to request access, there are 2 types of requests.

Open Access Request: Request for information listed under Schedule 1 of the GIPA(PDF, 15MB)  regulation that are not subject to copyright (documents subject to copyright may be viewed at Council's offices by appointment after the application has been assessed, with the exception of house floor plans).

Informal Access Request:  Request for copies of Council stamped plans or documents that are subject to copyright and require third party authorisation (owners consent is required for information relating to properties that is not open access). Note: This request is for Information not listed as open access under Schedule 1 of the GIPA regulation.

Informal request for information

Use the Informal request form for any other information required which can be submitted online or downloaded and sent to or call 02 6861 2333.

PRINTABLE FORM: Click here for a printable version of this form. Once completed, this form must be returned to or the Administration Centre at 2 Cecile Street, Parkes. 

Please note the GIPA Act provides no statutory timeframe by which informal requests must be decided within. Council is not required to disclose government information pursuant to an informal request and is also not required to consider an informal request for government information (s8(3)). Council can decide however by what means information is to be released in response to an informal request (s8(4)). 


Formal release of information

If you are unable to obtain your required information through any of the previous methods, a formal access application may be necessary. Please complete the application Form.

Formal request for information: Use the Formal request form for any other information required which can be submitted online or downloaded and sent to or call 02 6861 2333.

PRINTABLE FORM: Click here for a printable version of this form. Once completed, this form must be returned to or the Administration Centre at 2 Cecile Street, Parkes. 

Council will request a formal application be made for information only as a last resort, likely necessary if an applicant asks for a large volume of information, if providing access would involve an unreasonable diversion of resources on behalf of Council (i.e. extensive search, retrieval from archives), or if the information sought involves personal or business information about third parties that must be consulted before the information can be released. 

Section 41 of the GIPA Act lists the formal requirements for making a valid access application: 

- it must be in writing sent to or lodged at Council; 

- it must clearly indicate that it is an access application made under the GIPA Act; 

- it must be accompanied by the application fee; 

- it must state a postal address in Australia as the address for correspondence in connection with the application; 

- it must include such information as is reasonably necessary to enable the government information applied for to be identified. 

Upon receipt of a valid access application, 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 at a rate of $30 per hour may also apply as part of deciding the application. A 50% reduction in processing charges may be granted to applicants in cases of financial hardship and where information applied for is of special benefit to the public generally. 

Applicants aggrieved with a reviewable decision set out under section 80 of the GIPA Act have the right to request a review of that decision and can be done so in writing via the Internal Review Application Form.



Where can I get further information

Further information can be obtained from the Information and Privacy Commission of NSW.  

The Information and Privacy Commission (IPC) has been established as part of the right to information system and is led by the Information Commissioner.  The role of the IPC is to promote public awareness and understanding of the  right to information law and provide information, support, advice, assistance and training to agencies and the general public. 

To contact the IPC: 

Go to the website at 

Email an enquiry to 

Mail an enquiry:  GPO Box 7011, Sydney NSW 2001 

Call 1800 472 679 between 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays)