On 1 July 2010 new right to information legislation came into effect, the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (NSW) (GIPA), repealing and replacing the Freedom of Information Act 1989 (NSW) (FOI Act).
There are four ways in which government information is available under the GIPA Act:
Council is required to publish the following open access information under section 18 of the GIPA Act:
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):
Under section 7(3) of the GIPA Act, Council is required to review its proactive release program at least every 12 months, to identify any information we hold that should, in the public interest, be made publicly available. Access the information Council has made proactively available.
The provisions under section 8 of the GIPA Act provides Council with the authority to release information without the need for a formal access application.
Information can be informally requested from Council by completing the Informal Access Application form or by contacting the Right to Information Officer, phone 6540 1122.
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)).
Download: Informal Access Application (PDF - 95.42KB)
If information can't be accessed through any of the above avenues, a Formal Access Application can be submitted to Council. 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:
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. 50% reduction in processing charge 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.
Download: Formal Access Application (PDF - 85.19KB)
Council is required to maintain a register that records information about each government contract which has (or likely to have) a value of $150,000 or more.
This Disclosure log identifies information and documents that have been released by a formal application process.
Upper Hunter Shire Council is a local government authority and provides an extensive array of services including health and building; town planning; aged care; sporting and recreational facilities; roads; libraries; garbage collection; airport facilities; saleyards; public venues; water; children, youth and families and tourist information.