Accessing Council information

Overview

You can access information held by Council on our website.  

Council releases information  on its website in accordance with  the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 and using the following avenues.

Open access information

This includes:

  • Current and determined development applications from 2010 onwards.
  • Minutes and agendas of our meetings.
  • Other Open access information as set out in Section 6 of the GIPA Act.

Proactive release of information

Council routinely identifies and proactively releases information which is available throughout our website and this can include information of current and historical interest.

Informal release of information

Agencies can release information informally, subject to any reasonable conditions.

If the information you would like isn’t ‘open access’ and you have made an informal request but have been refused, then you can make a Formal Access application.

Formal release of information

Make a Formal Access application if information you would like cannot be accessed via the above methods.

Informal release of information

Information not available on our website may be accessed informally by submitting an Informal Access Application Request form.

A search fee of $30 applies to each request regardless whether or not any information is released.

Online

Online

Step 1.Before you begin

Check to see if the information you are requesting is available on our website before making your Informal Access Application Request.

Step 2.Payment

Payment will be required as part of lodging the application.  We accept Mastercard or Visa credit card payments. 

Step 3.Complete the form

Complete our online Informal Access Application Request form and pay online.

Informal Access Application Request form

Step 4.Next steps

Informal access to information request applications are processed on a first in first served basis and are usually completed within 10 working days.

In person

In person 

Step 1.Before you begin

Check to see if the information you are requesting is available on our website before making your Informal Access Application Request.

Step 2.Complete the form

Download, print and complete our Informal Access Application Request form(PDF, 132KB).  Note: A fee is payable with this application. 

Step 3.Visit Councils Customer Service Centre

To finalise your request pay the fee at our Customer Service Centre on Station Street, Mullumbimby.  We accept payments by cash, cheque or you may use your debit or credit card.

  • Please bring your completed application form when making payment.
  • Office hours: Monday to Friday 8.30 am to 4 pm (excluding public holidays)

Step 4.Next steps

Informal access to information request applications are processed on a first in first served basis and are usually completed within 10 working days.

By mail

Submit by mail

Step 1.Before you begin

Check to see if the information you are requesting is available on our website before making your Informal Access Application Request.

Step 2.Complete the form

Download and complete our Informal Access Application Request form(PDF, 132KB). Note: A fee is payable with this application.

Step 3.Post

Byron Shire Council

PO Box 219

MULLUMBIMBY NSW 2482

Step 4.Payment

Customer Service will contact you over the phone to obtain payment via a credit card.

Step 5.Next steps

Informal access to information request applications are processed on a first in first served basis and are usually completed within 10 working days.

 

Formal access to information

To access records that may not have been accessible via other avenues as they may contain private information about people, organisations or businesses, submit a Formal Access Application Request form. 

Fees and Charges apply.

Please call our Records Management team to check before making the application.

Online

Online

Step 1.Before you begin

For your application to be considered a valid request you will be required to:

  • Complete the form and include your name, address and contact details.
  • Provide proof of identity, if you are seeking access to your personal information.
  • Pay the required fee.

Step 2.Payment

Application fee of $30 is payable as part of lodging the application.  We accept Mastercard or Visa credit card payments.

Step 3.Complete the form

Complete our online Formal Access Application Request form and pay online.

Formal Access Application Request form

Step 4.Next steps

  • Acknowledgement will be provided within five working days.
  • Should an advance deposit be required we will also notify you of this requirement.
  • Council will notify you of the decision within 20 working days, unless the applicant agrees to extend the time.
  • This may need to be extended by up to 15 working days (preferred is 10 working days) where consultation with a third party is required or if Council needs to retrieve records from archives.
  • If access is deferred we will notify you with an explanation and the date you will be given access.  A decision to defer access is reviewable (see Rights of Review and Appeal).
  • If Council does not decide the applicant's access application within the above timeframes, it is deemed 'refused'.  We will refund the application fee and the applicant may seek an internal or external review (see Rights of Review and Appeal) of this refusal. This will not apply if an extension of time has been arranged or payment of an advance deposit is pending.

 

In person

In person 

Step 1.Before you begin

For your application to be considered a valid request you will be required to:

  • Complete the form and include your name, address and contact details.
  • Provide proof of identity, if you are seeking access to your personal information.
  • Pay the required fee. 

Step 2.Complete the form

Download, print and complete our Formal Access Application Request form(PDF, 142KB).  Note: A fee is payable with this application. 

Step 3.Visit Councils Customer Service Centre

To finalise your request pay the fee at our Customer Service Centre on Station Street, Mullumbimby.  We accept payments by cash, cheque, or you may use your debit or credit card.

  • Please bring your completed application form when making payment.
  • Office hours: Monday to Friday 8.30 am to 4 pm (excluding public holidays)

Step 4.Next steps

  • Acknowledgement will be provided within five working days.
  • Should an advance deposit be required we will also notify you of this requirement.
  • Council will notify you of the decision within 20 working days, unless the applicant agrees to extend the time.
  • This may need to be extended by up to 15 working days (preferred is 10 working days) where consultation with a third party is required or if Council needs to retrieve records from archives. 
  • If access is deferred we will notify you with an explanation and the date you will be given access.  A decision to defer access is reviewable (see Rights of Review and Appeal).
  • If Council does not decide the applicant's access application within the above timeframes, it is deemed 'refused'.  We will refund the application fee and the applicant may seek an internal or external review (see Rights of Review and Appeal) of this refusal. This will not apply if an extension of time has been arranged or payment of an advance deposit is pending.

 

 

By mail

Submit by mail

Step 1.Before you begin

For your application to be considered a valid request you will be required to:

  • Complete the form and include your name, address and contact details.
  • Provide proof of identity, if you are seeking access to your personal information.
  • Pay the required fee. 

Step 2.Complete the form

Download and complete our Formal Access Application Request form(PDF, 142KB). Note: A fee is payable with this application.

Step 3.Post

Byron Shire Council

PO Box 219

MULLUMBIMBY NSW 2482

Step 4.Payment

Customer Service will contact you over the phone to obtain payment via a credit card.

Step 5.Next steps

  • Acknowledgement will be provided within five working days.
  • Should an advance deposit be required we will also notify you of this requirement.
  • Council will notify you of the decision within 20 working days, unless the applicant agrees to extend the time.
  • This may need to be extended by up to 15 working days (preferred is 10 working days) where consultation with a third party is required or if Council needs to retrieve records from archives.
  • If access is deferred we will notify you with an explanation and the date you will be given access.  A decision to defer access is reviewable (see Rights of Review and Appeal).
  • If Council does not decide the applicant's access application within the above timeframes, it is deemed 'refused'.  We will refund the application fee and the applicant may seek an internal or external review (see Rights of Review and Appeal) of this refusal. This will not apply if an extension of time has been arranged or payment of an advance deposit is pending.

 

Rights of review and appeal

Where access is refused we will provide details of the reasons in writing.

An applicant who has been refused has three options of review available.

Apply for an internal review

  • This is review by someone more senior than the original decision maker.
  • Applicants have 20 working days from receiving notice of a decision to ask for an internal review.
  • Cost - $40

Review by Information Commissioner

If an applicant is not satisfied with the internal review, or does not want one, they can ask for a review by the Information Commissioner.

Applicants have eight weeks from being notified of a decision to ask for this review.

Administrative Decisions Tribunal

If an applicant is not satisfied with the decision of the Information Commissioner or the internal reviewer or if they do not want to take these options they can apply to the Administrative Decisions Tribunal (ADT).

If the applicant has already had a review by the Information Commissioner they have four weeks from notification of the decision to make this application.

If they haven’t had a review by the Information Commissioner they have eight weeks from notification of the decision to make this application

 

What is open access information?

Open access information is available on our website.  Alternatively you can contact us to access the information free of charge at our Customer Service Centre, 70 Station Street, Mullumbimby.

Open access information available includes:

  • Council’s policy documents;
  • Disclosure log of formal access applications(PDF, 162KB); where in Council’s opinion the information released may be of interest to other members of the public;
  • register of contracts(PDF, 283KB)  worth more than $150,000 that councils have with private sector bodies;
  • Council’s record of open access information not made publicly available on the basis of overriding public interest against disclosure.  

    Please note, Council currently does not have any open access information that it has not made publicly available on the basis of overriding public interest against disclosure.

     

Further open access information available includes:

Information about Council

  1.  Code of conduct, adopted under section 440 (3) of the Local Government Act 1993 (LGA)

  2. Code of meeting practice

  3. Annual report

  4. Annual financial statements

  5. Equal Employment Opportunity management plan - EEO and Discrimination Prevention Policy

  6. Councillor’s Expenses and Facilities Policy

  7. Annual reports of bodies exercising functions delegated by Council

  8. Any codes referred to in the Local Government Act

  9. Annual returns of interests of Councillors and designated persons(PDF, 11MB)

  10. Register of Declarations of Interests at Council Meetings(PDF, 219KB)

  11. Agendas and business papers for any meeting of local authority or any committee of the local authority (but not including business papers for matters considered when part of a meeting is closed to the public)

  12. Minutes of any meeting of Council or any committee of 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

  13. Office of Local Government Representative Reports presented at a meeting of Council

  14. Land register

  15. Register of investments

  16. Register of delegations

  17. Register of graffiti removal works kept in accordance with section 13 of the Graffiti Control Act 2008

  18. Register of current declarations of disclosures of political donations kept in accordance with section 328A of the LGA

  19. The register of voting on planning matters kept in accordance with section 375A of the LGA

Plans and policies

Information about development applications

Development application (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:

  • Home warranty insurance documents
  • Construction certificates
  • Occupation certificates
  • Structural certification documents
  • Town planner reports
  • Submissions received on development applications
  • Heritage consultant reports
  • Tree inspections consultant reports
  • Acoustic consultant reports
  • Land contamination consultant reports

Records of decisions on development applications (including decisions on appeal)


A record describing the general nature of documents that Council decides are excluded from the operation of this clause by subclause (2).

(Subclause 2 does not apply to so much of the information referred to in subclause 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 that information would be likely to prejudice the commercial position of the person who supplied it or to reveal a trade secret.)

Approvals, Orders and Other documents

  1. Applications for approvals under part 1 of Chapter 7 of the LGA 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 Council 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, 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 Council

  8. Compulsory acquisition notices

  9. Leases and Licenses for use of public land classified as community land.