Request for informal access to information
Prior to lodging a request to access Council information, you should first search this website. Many Council documents are classified as ‘open access’ and are available to view or print from this website.
Lodging a request
If you are seeking specific information from Council files or documents, you can lodge an application for ‘informal release’ under section 8 of the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009. Informal release is free, except for copying charges (if applicable).
Informal release is used to request access to non-complex information eg those that do not involve requests for sensitive information, other people’s personal information or require unreasonable amounts of Council resources in processing.
Requests can be made directly to Council through the Customer Service Centre or by completing this form. Applications often involve requests for property information, however applications can also be made to request other information held by Council including your personal information. Where personal information is involved, Council may request you to provide proof of identity eg driver’s licence, passport, rates notice etc.
By providing specific and detailed requests, you can assist us in quickly determining what information is available to assist you.
Upon receiving your request, Council will determine how the request will be processed and what information is available. This may involve Council contacting you to clarify what information is sought and the form in which it may be made available.
Timeframes for processing requests
Applications will be assessed in accordance with the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 and any other relevant legislation. Applicants will be notified within fifteen (15) working days of the receipt of the application as to what information is available for release. Many Council records are held in storage off-site and may take a few days to be delivered to Council, which may change the anticipated processing time.
Access to information such as internal residential diagrams is usually restricted to owners of those properties, therefore Council generally seeks consent of the owner prior to Council releasing this information.
If Council determines that the request is unable to be processed as an informal release because it involves consideration of complex issues, significant resources or consultations with third parties, you could consider lodging a formal access application. Formal access applications involve a lodgement fee and processing charges but also provides the right of review.
Information held by Strathfield Council is subject to the Copyright Act 1968. The Copyright Act does not permit materials covered by copyright (eg documents, plans, photos etc) to be copied or published unless the owner of the copyright has given consent. Council will make available documents to inspect but if there is no evidence of owner consent, Council can not provide copies of copyright materials. The NSW Information and Privacy Commission released a knowledge updated in 2012 entitled ‘Copyright and Compliance with the GIPA Act’ which sets out copyright advice to local government.
Where documents are able to be reproduced the applicant will be required to meet all costs associated with photocopying, as set out in Council’s annual fees and charges schedule.
Where to inspect documents
Information will be available for inspection at Council’s Customer Service Centre, 65 Homebush Road, Strathfield, for seven (7) days from the date of notification. The centre is open Monday to Friday, from 8:30am to 4:30pm.