Accessing Council Information GIPA

A lot of information held by Councils must be disclosed, unless it there is an overriding public interest against disclosure.

Try searching this site, or using our policy and document search. Development applications can be found on the DA Tracker Website.

If you do not find the information you are seeking, you have the option to apply for access to that information with us (this application is known as an Informal Request for Information as stipulated in the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (GIPA) .

We will endeavour to provide information to you informally. In some cases, you will be required to attend council to view the information to determine what you are seeking.  If you are requiring copies then fees and charges will apply, see:

Sutherland Council's Schedule of Fees and Charges

If documents are subject to the Copyright Act 1968 you may not be given a copy, but you can still view the document.  If you feel you need a copy, we can generally provide you with information about the copyright owner and you can request permission directly.  

Documents that typically are subject to copyright can include engineering reports, plans, environmental studies and surveys.

 You can view our Frequently Asked Questions Content at the bottom of this page.

Open Access Information

 Information that can be provided through open access to information include:

  • Development applications and property history records.

Information relating to current applications can be found on Council's DA Tracker Website. Development and property information that is not available on DA tracker can be applied for through Open Access.

Make an Informal Request for Access to Information 

Informal Access to Information

Information that can be provided informally include: 

  • Contents of reports or complaints with all personal information redacted.

If you seek the personal information of a complainant, you have the right to apply for this information by lodging a Formal Access to Information Request where third-party consultation with complainants will be required.

In most circumstances there are strong public interest considerations against disclosure of a persons’ personal information. Council must also adhere to the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998 and Council’s Privacy Management Plan in relation to a person’s personal information. For more information about applying for complaints information please see:

Fact Sheet - Applying for complaints information | Information and Privacy Commission New South Wales (

Make an Informal Request for Access to Information

Formal Access to Information

Some applications by their nature are considered formal requests. These typically include:

  • Information that relates to a third party who must be consulted;
  • Information that is subject to legal professional privilege;
  • Information that relates to a third-party business that must be consulted;
  • Information that relates to an investigation carried out by council;
  • Large volumes of information that involves extensive search;
  • Information which could not be provided informally;
  • You have previously been refused information;
  • The material is sensitive in nature and requires careful balancing of public interest considerations. 

Lodgement of a formal access to information application gives you a right to a review of the decision made by council.

You may apply for this information by lodging a Formal Access to Information Application form and paying the $30 application fee. Fees can be paid either online, by cheque or in person after submitting your application 

Application and processing fees apply for formal requests, please see below information regarding fees and charges.

Make a Formal Request for Access to Information

Note: if your application is seeking personal information, proof of identity is required at the time of applying.

Formal Access Fees

Charges are set by the GIPA Act:

Application type Application fees Processing fees Photocopy fees

Yes (see below)
Formal Access $30 0-1hr no charge
1hr+ $30/hr

Copy fees don't apply but applicants are charged for the time taken to make copies @$30 per hour.

Internal review on GIPA decisions $40 No charge No charge

Photocopy Fees

Photocopy fees are set by council's Schedule of Fees and Charges and are as follows:

Page size Cost/sheet
A2, A1, A0 $24
A2, A1, A0 reduction to A3 $12
A4 (black & white) $0.65c
A4 (colour) $2.30
A3 (black & white) $1.15
A3 (colour) $4.40

Electronic Information Fees

Provision of electronic information on Flash Drive or CD-Rom - $11.50

Scanning of Information / Compilation of Electronic Materials -  $42.00

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How can I access information regarding development applications?

Information relating to development applications is available on Council’s Council’s DA Tracker Website. Information that is not published on DA tracker can be applied for by submitting an informal information request.

How can I access objections or support letters (submissions) for a Development Application?
These are published via the Council’s DA Tracker Website under the relevant property address with the personal information of submitters removed. 


Council provides access to information in accordance with the requirements of the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009, however provisions of Copyright Act 1968 currently apply to some information.

Where Council is not the copyright owner of the information, authority from the document owner may be necessary before Council can release copies of documents to members of the public.  

If you do not have copyright owner’s consent, you will be provided view only access to the information such as building plans and development reports. You will be contacted for an appointment to view the information at Council as part of your information request.

How can I obtain a property owner’s name and address for notification?

If you require owner details to notify of a dividing fence, tree or Complying Development Neighbour Notification you must complete an” Application for Adjoining Owners Details form.

Council does not release individual ownership details unless compelled by law to do so. You can apply for individual property ownership information from NSW Land Registry Services.

What information is publicly available on Council’s website for me to view?

Council is committed to providing an open and transparent environment to enable members of the public to access government information held by Council. 

The following information is defined as Open Access Information under Section 18 of the GIPA Act:

  • Council policies and management plans;;
  • Disclosure log of access applications
  • Register of government contracts;
  • Annual, financial and auditor reports, management plans and various codes;
  • Business Papers and Minutes of meetings;
  • Land, investments, delegations, graffiti removal, declarations of disclosure of political donations;
  • Gifts and benefits register;
  • Disclosures of interest;
  • Proactively released documents. 

Links to the above mandatory and proactive release of information can be found here: 

Mandatory & Proactively Released Documents 

For more information please see Council’s Agency Information Guide

Where can I find out more about my right to information?

  • Mail an enquiry: GPO Box 7011, Sydney NSW 2001.
  • Call 1800 472 679 between 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays).


Address: ,

More information

Policies and documents

Access to Information Policy Privacy Management Plan


Application to Access Information GIPA - Informal Request Application to Access Information (GIPA) - Formal Requests



Access council information (Informal request) Access council Information (formal request)

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