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Wollongong City Council

Agency Information Guide

4. Information Held by Council and Available to the Public

The Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (the Act) facilitates public access to Council information.

Council holds a vast amount of information in relation to its operations. The list below is not exhaustive, but provides an indication of the types of information maintained:

  • Rating of land
  • Development of land
  • Library services
  • Roads and related infrastructure
  • Waste management
  • Environmental management
  • Management of Council-owned public land
  • Provision of community facilities
  • Financial management
  • Employee records
  • Correspondence files
  • Other administrative records.

The Act requires Council to make the following ‘open access information’ available to the public:

  • Council’s policy documents
  • An Information Guide (this guide) with information about the Council’s structure and functions, and listing the type of information that is publicly available
  • A Disclosure Log of formal access applications where in Council’s opinion the information released may be of interest to other members of the public
  • A Register of Contracts worth more than $150,000 that Council has with private sector bodies
  • A record of open access information that Council does not make publicly available on the basis of an overriding public interest against disclosure
  • Information about Council 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
  • Such other Council information as may be prescribed by the Regulations as open access.

The Government Information (Public Access) Regulation 2018 requires Council to make certain open access information available to the public for inspection, free of charge, unless there is an overriding public interest against public disclosure.

The specific ‘open access information’ required by the Regulation is divided into four sections as detailed below.

4.1.1 Information contained in the current version and the most recent previous version of the following records:

4.1.2 Information contained in the following records, whenever created:

  • Returns of the Interests of Councillors, Designated Persons and Delegates
  • Agendas, Business Papers and Minutes of Council/Committee meetings (except meetings that are closed to the public)
  • Office of Local Government Representative Reports presented at a meeting of Council.

4.1.3 Information contained in the current version of the following records:

Information contained in the current version and the most recent previous version of the following records:

4.3.1 Information contained in the following records, whenever created:

a)Development Applications and any associated documents received in relation to a proposed development, including:

  • Town Planner Reports
  • Technical Consultant Reports including heritage, tree inspection, acoustic, land contamination and geotechnical etc.
  • Construction Certificates
  • Home Warranty Insurance documents
  • Structural Certification Documents
  • Occupation Certificates.

b)Records of decisions on Development Applications including decisions on appeals;

c)Records describing the general nature of documents that Council decides to exclude from public view after application of public interest test considerations.

4.3.2 This Clause does not apply to so much of the information referred to in subclause 5.3.1(a) as consists of:

a)the plans and specifications for any residential part 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

b)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.

4.3.3 Council must keep the record referred to in subclause 5.3.1(c)

This includes Information contained in the following records, whenever created:

  • Applications for approvals under Part 1 of Chapter 7 of the Local Government Act  and any associated documents received
  • Applications for approvals under any other Act and any associated documents received
  • Records of approvals granted or refused, any variation from Council Policies with reasons for the variation, and decisions made on appeals concerning approvals
  • Orders given under Part 2 of Chapter 7 of the Local Government Act , and any reasons given under section 136 of the Local Government Act
  • Orders given under the Authority of any other Act
  • Records of Building Certificates under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979
  • Plans of land proposed to be compulsorily acquired by Council
  • Compulsory acquisition notices
  • Leases and Licenses for use of public land classified as community land.

Information that is not open access information may be made available upon request or application made in accordance with Council’s Public Access to Documents and Information Held by Council Policy . All applications will be dealt with in accordance with the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009.