Your right to information

On 1 July 2010 new right to information legislation came into effect, replacing the former freedom of information law.

The law:

You can find out more about your right to information and new ways to access NSW government Information & Privacy Commission (IPC) website at www.ipc.nsw.gov.au.

Accessing our agency’s information

Our agency publishes a range of information under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009.

Seeking information

Muswellbrook Shire Council aims to make available as much 'open access information' as possible on this website. Where the information you seek is not yet on our website you may contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Public Officer on 02 6549 3700. In most cases your request would be considered an 'informal request' for information and no charge will occur. However, if there is a large volume of information being sought, or if providing access would involve an extensive search, or the information involves personal or business information about third parties who must be consulted before the information can be released, applications must be put in writing and accompanied by payment of a $30 fee. Processing charges of $30 per hour may also be levied, depending on the type and amount of information sought.

Please note that is some circumstances there may be an overriding public interest against disclosure, for more information on your rights to access information visit www.ipc.nsw.gov.auipc.nsw.gov.au.

Open access information

Below is the list of requirements under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (GIPA Act).

1.   Information About Local Authority

  1. Information contained in the current version and the most recent previous version of the following records is prescribed as open access information:
    1. the model code of conduct and the adopted code of conduct,
    2. code of meeting practice,
    3. annual report,
    4. annual financial reports,
    5. auditor’s report,
    6. management plan,
    7. EEO management plan,
    8. policy concerning the payment of expenses incurred by, and the provision of facilities to, Councillors,
    9. annual reports of bodies exercising functions delegated by the local authority,
    10. any codes referred to in the LGA.
  1.   Information contained in the following records (whenever created) is prescribed as open access information:
    1. returns of the interests of Councillors, designated persons and delegates,
    2. agendas and business papers for any meeting of the council or any committee of the council (but not including business papers for matters considered when part of a meeting is closed to the public),
    3. minutes of any meeting of the council or any committee of the council, 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,
    4. Departmental representative reports presented at a meeting of the local authority in accordance with section 433 of the LGA.
  1. Information contained in the current version of the following records is prescribed as open access information:
    1. land register,
    2. register of investments,
    3. register of delegations,
    4. register of graffiti removal work kept in accordance with section 13 of the Graffiti Control Act 2008,
    5. register of current declarations of disclosures of political donations kept in accordance with section 328A of the LGA,
    6. the register of voting on planning matters kept in accordance with section 375A of the LGA.

2.   Plans and policies

Information contained in the current version and the most recent previous version of the following records is prescribed as open access information:

  1. local policies adopted by council concerning approvals and orders,
  2. plans of management for community land,
  3. environmental planning instruments, development control plans and contributions plans made under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 applying to land within council’s area.

3.   Information about development applications

  1. Information contained in the following records (whenever created) is prescribed as open access information:
    1. development applications (within the meaning of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979) and any associated documents received in relation to a proposed development including the following:
      1. home warranty insurance documents,
      2. construction certificates,
      3. occupation certificates,
      4. structural certification documents,
      5. town planner reports,
      6. ,
      7. heritage consultant reports,
      8. tree inspection consultant reports,
      9. acoustics consultant reports,
      10. land contamination consultant reports,
    2. records of decisions on development applications (including decisions made on appeal),
    3. a record that describes the general nature of the documents that council decides are excluded from the operation of this clause by subclause (2).
  1. This clause does not apply to so much of the information referred to in subclause (1) (a) as consists of:
    1. 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
    2. 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.
    3. Council must keep the record referred to in subclause (1) (c).

4.    Approvals, orders and other documents

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

  1. applications for approvals under Part 1 of Chapter 7 of the LGA (Approvals under the Regulatory functions) and any associated documents received in relation to such an application,
  2. applications for approvals under any other Act and any associated documents received in relation to such an application,
  3. records of approvals granted or refused, any variation from local policies with reasons for the variation, and decisions made on appeals concerning approvals,
  4. orders given under Part 2 of Chapter 7 of the LGA (Orders under the Regulatory function), and any reasons given under section 136 of the LGA,
  5. orders given under the authority of any other Act,
  6. records of building certificates under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979,
  7. plans of land proposed to be compulsorily acquired by the local authority,
  8. compulsory acquisition notices,
  9. leases and licences for use of public land classified as community land.

OPEN ACCESS DOCUMENTS

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