You may want to upgrade your browser. We have detected you are using Internet Explorer 10 or earlier. It is recommended that you update your browser to the latest version to get a better user experience. Find out more

Your JavaScript is disabled, we suggest you enable it to improve your Council website user experience.
Skip to main content Menu
Main Content Anchor

Access to Information (GIPA Applications)

What is GIPA?

On 1 July 2010 the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009(645KB, PDF) (the GIPA act) came into effect, replacing the former freedom of information laws and provisions of the Local Government Act 1993.

The objective of the GIPA act is to help maintain and develop a system of government that is open, accountable, fair and effective.

The GIPA act applies to all NSW public sector agencies including:

  • Government departments
  • Ministers and their personal staff  
  • NSW local councils; public offices and courts.

The law facilitates access to information by:

  • making it necessary for agencies to make certain information publicly available
  • allowing agencies to proactively release other information to the community
  • allowing agencies to release their information in response to informal access requests
  • giving the public a legally enforceable right to access government information through making an access application, unless there is an overriding public interest against doing so.

Campbelltown City Council publishes a range of information under the GIPA act on our website. However, not all information held by Council can be published on the website. You may still be able to access information not readily available by submitting an Informal Release Application.

Should the information being sought be of a sensitive nature, relate to a third party who must be consulted, or the scope of the information requested will require a significant amount of Council resources to process, then you will need to submit a Formal Release Application . A formal application has a $30 lodgement fee applicable and Council may impose a processing fee of $30 per hour.

PLEASE NOTE: The name and contact information of an individual is personal information and is protected by the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998(573KB, PDF). Council will not provide an individuals personal information to a third party for any purpose. For more information please see the contact details of a property owner section for further information.

Open Access Information

This information is made available on Council’s website.

Mandatory Release Information

Additional Open Access Information contained in the current version and the most recent previous version of the following records is considered mandatory release:

Information contained in the current version and the most recent previous version of the following records is considered Mandatory Disclosure and most can be found on the website:

Information contained in the following records (whenever created) will require an informal application form for processing:

Development Applications (within the meaning of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979) and any associated documents received in relation to a proposed development or existing property including the following:

  • home warranty insurance documents
  • construction certificates
  • occupation certificates
  • structural certification documents
  • town planner reports
  • submissions received on development applications
  • heritage consultant reports
  • tree inspection consultant reports
  • acoustics consultant reports
  • land contamination consultant reports
  • records of decisions on development applications (including decisions made on appeal)
  • plans (site, elevation, shadow, landscape, section).

Release of development information does not apply to information regarding:

  • The plans and specifications for any residential parts of a proposed building, other than plans that merely show its height and its external configuration in relation to the site on which it is proposed to be erected, or  
  • Commercial information, if the information would be likely to prejudice the commercial position of the person who supplied it or to reveal a trade secret.

PLEASE NOTE:       

  • Plans and external reports can be subject to copyright as per the Copyright Act (Cth) 1968 which protects copyright in relation to plans, technical reports and documents and as such Council is unable to reproduce plans and external reports subject to copyright without the express written permission of the copyright owner.
  • Depending on the age of the property, there may be a lack of documentation, and the documents that are available may be of poor quality.

Informal Request for Access

Prior to submitting an informal request to access Council records, you are encouraged to check the open access information section as the information you are seeking may be readily available.

If you are unable to locate the information you wish to access on this website, then you can lodge an informal release application online or download the (105KB, PDF)paper form(105KB, PDF) . Council endeavours to respond to all requests in a timely manner, however please allow a minimum of 20 working days from receipt of a completed form for a response. This time frame is dependent on current workload and accessibility of the information being sought.

Before you lodge an informal release application, please ensure you have the following documents:

  • a proof of identity in the form of certified copy if you are seeking personal information on your own behalf.  Find a local Justice of the Peace to get your documents certified.
  • a written consent (e.g. letter) from the property owner for release of information if you are seeking information for the property that you do not own.

Note: Supporting attachments for online applications must be .jpeg, .jpg, .gif, .doc, .docx, .pdf, .xls, .xlsx format & be less than 4MB in size and the filename must not contain the following characters \ / : * < > | ( ) .

GIPA applications are requests to access government agencies records, the officer processing your request can search for the records requested and facilitate your access to them.

However, should you wish to make a complaint, or wish to have specific questions answered regarding an issue rather than requesting access to records, then you are encouraged to send a letter or email to Council requesting a response to your complaint or concerns. Your request will then be addressed by the relevant section with the expertise to assist you in your matter.

What happens after I lodge my informal GIPA request?

When an informal GIPA application is received by Council, it is registered and placed into the queue for processing. All informal applications are processed in turn, this ensures a fair process for all applicants seeking access to Council records.

A search is conducted of all Council databases to determine what information Council has within it's possession that fits within the scope of your request. If your request relates to a property then all records relating to the property will be located. This may mean recalling hard copy files from archives which are kept off site or requesting microfilm documents from Council's records department.

Once the search has been completed and all relevant information has been identified you will be sent an email response to your application. Copies of documents being released will be provided to you in digital format. Should documents have restrictions on release such as, a copyright reserved over development plans by a designer, you will be notified of the issue and provided with further information on alternatives to accessing these records.

Provision of information in electronic format does not incur a cost however if you request photocopies of the documents be posted to you then charges do apply. Please see the fees and charges section for further information.

Formal Application for Access

Any government information held by Council that does not fall under the open access information and informal release of information categories will require a formal request to access information.

The requirement for a formal application will apply where the information being sought is of a sensitive nature, has commercial confidence, legal and security concerns or where privacy considerations need to be evaluated prior to release. A formal application may also be necessary where the scope of the information requested will require external consultation and/or extensive resources to search Council records.

If you are advised that the information you are seeking is considered to be a formal application, you can lodge a formal release application & pay online or download the paper form(105KB, PDF) and submit it with the $30 application fee. Your application is NOT accepted as a valid application until Council receives the lodgement fee of $30.

Before you lodge a formal release application, please ensure you have the following documents:

  • a proof of identity in the form of certified copy if you are seeking personal information on your own behalf.  Find a local Justice of the Peace to get your documents certified.
  • your credit card (VISA or MasterCard) ready for payment. Note: A Merchant fee of up to 0.45% will be added to the total cost at the time of payment.

Note: Supporting attachments for online applications must be .jpeg, .jpg, .gif, .doc, .docx, .pdf, .xls, .xlsx format & be less than 4MB in size and the filename must not contain the following characters \ / : * < > | ( ) .

GIPA applications are requests to access a government agencies records, the officer processing your request can search for the records requested and facilitate your access to them.

However, should you wish to make a complaint, or wish to have specific questions answered regarding an issue rather than requesting access to records then you are encouraged to send a letter or email to Council requesting a response to your complaint or concerns. Your request will then be addressed by the relevant section with the expertise to assist you in your matter.

What happens after I lodge my formal GIPA application?

Upon receipt your request will be reviewed and determined as either a valid or invalid application. A valid application needs to comply with section 41(1) of the GIPA act and must meet the following criteria:

  • (a) it must be in writing sent to or lodged at an office of the agency concerned,
  • (b) it must clearly indicate that it is an access application made under this Act,
  • (c) it must be accompanied by a fee of $30,
  • (d) it must state a postal address in Australia as the address for correspondence in connection with the application,
  • (e) it must include such information as is reasonably necessary to enable the government information applied for to be identified.

An acknowledgement of your application will be provided by Council within five working days of receipt of the application. The acknowledgement will advise if your application is valid or invalid. If your application will be rejected as invalid and you will be notified of what needs to be done for your application to be considered valid.

A valid application will need to be determined within 20 working days of receipt of a valid application. The acknowledgement letter will provide you with the date that the determination is due. Kindly note that the GIPA act allows for extensions of up to 15 workings days for third party consultation or should the information need to be retrieved from archives. The responsible officer will contact you to arrange a new response date if an extension becomes necessary.

Council may impose a processing fee of $30 per hour of time taken to process your application. You will be provided with a quote of any additional charges as soon as possible.

You may be eligible to request a 50% reduction in these fees on the basis of financial hardship or if you can provide or establish a special public benefit. You can apply for consideration of a reduction in fees when you make your application.

If you are refused access to information, you may request a review or appeal the decision. Reviews are conducted either internally, by a complaint to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal and/or the Information Commissioner. More information on the GIPA act is provided by the Information and Privacy Commission.

Public Interest Against Disclosure

Council will make available any information held in its records unless there is an overriding public interest against disclosure.

For more information about overriding public interest against disclosure of Council information, please contact Council’s Governance Officer - Access to Information on 02 4645 4000 during Council’s business hours.

Fees and charges

An informal GIPA application does not incur a lodgement fee and if you elect to receive documents by email no further charge will be applied. However, if you elect to be sent hard copies of the documents by post you will incur a photocopying and postage. These charges are outlined in Campbelltown City Council's schedule of fees and charges(2MB, PDF).

A formal application incurs a $30 lodgement fee and Council can impose a processing fee of $30 per hour of processing time required to complete your request.

Disclosure Log

Pursuant to, Division 4 Section 25 of the GIPA Act Council will keep a disclosure log of all information about formal access applications received by Council, where access to the information was granted (full or in part) that Council considers may be of interest to other members of the public.

Access Disclosure Log(202KB, PDF)

Contact details of a property owner

Personal information collected and held by Council is protected by the provisions set out in the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998(573KB, PDF)

As set out in section 18 of the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998(573KB, PDF) Council must not disclose personal information it holds to third parties.

A property owner's name and contact details that may be contained within Council records is considered personal information and as such Council will not provide this sort of information to third parties for any reason. 

Should you need to make contact with a property owner, Council may only be able to provide details if the property is owned by a public entity such as a company or government agency also if the owner of the property has registered a managing agent such as a real estate as the contact.

If the property is owned by an individual, Council will not provide this information to a third party. However, you may request that Council forward correspondence, on your behalf, to the owner of the subject property requesting they contact you. To lodge this request with Council you will need to complete an Authorisation to forward contact information to a third party form and submit to Council. Please be aware, should the recipient fail to make contact with you, Council cannot follow up or take any further action, you will need to obtain independent advice on your options in the matter.

The Authorisation to forward contact information to a third party form can be lodged with Council either:

In Person:          Civic Centre, Cnr Queen St & Broughton St, Campbelltown

By Post:              PO Box 57, Campbelltown NSW 2560

By Email:            council@campbelltown.nsw.gov.au

Online:                Authorisation to forward contact information to a third party online form    

Other Options to Seek Property Owner Information

Another option available to you is to conduct a Title Search with the NSW Land Registry Services. The title search will list the names of the owner or owners of the property.  There are two steps to a title search:

  1. Find the title reference for the property. This is done by conducting a street address inquiry through NSW Land Registry Services website.
  2. With the title reference, a title search can be completed. An online title search is done through one of the approved information brokers. Information brokers charge a fee and do not have a standard fee. The other option is to do a title search over the counter at the Land Registry Service’s Queens Square, Sydney office for $14.20 (as at July 2017).
Need Some Advice About Neighbourhood Disputes, Fencing and Tree Issues

You will be able to find further information regarding fencing and tree issues and neighbourhood disputes from the following agencies:

 NSW Civil & Administrative Tribunal, dividing fences page

Community Justice Centres - Ph: 1800 990 777

LawAccess - Ph: 1300 888 529

More information

If you have not found the answers to your questions regarding access to Council information please feel free to contact Council’s Governance Officer - Access to Information on 02 4645 4000 during Council’s business hours. You may also email enquiries to accesstoinfo@campbelltown.nsw.gov.au.

Back to top Back to top