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1. Search on this website

Our website includes a large volume of material that covers many policies and projects. We try to release as much government information as possible, through our website or other formats such as hard copy brochures stored in our information centre. Where possible we provide this information free of charge or at the lowest reasonable cost.

 

Under the GIPA Act, certain information is required by law to be available on our website, free of charge. This is called "open access information" and includes our:

You should check the links above to see if the information you are looking for is already publicly available.

 

In addition to the “open access information” which the Department is required by law to make available, the Department also proactively releases a large volume of other information.

 

If you cannot find the information you are looking for on this website, you can contact the Department’s Information Centre on 1300 305 695 who can let you know where to find the information. Some publications may only be available on the payment of a fee, but we will let you know if that is the case.

2. Make an informal request

If the information you require has not already been published by the Department, but is information which raises no particular concerns in terms of an overriding public interest as to why it should be kept confidential, then the Department may be able to release it to you on request without having to make a formal application.

 

If you think this applies to the information you require, you can contact us by email to patiunit@planning.nsw.gov.au to make an informal request.

 

You can also contact the Public Access to Information Unit (Pati Unit) by calling the Information Centre on 1300 305 695.

 

Where some information may be released without the need for a formal request, we reserve the right to require an access application to deal with requests for information, particularly if:

  • there may be significant public interest considerations that need to be taken into account in deciding whether the information can be released, or
  • if you request a large volume of information, or there is another reason the department may take a significant amount of time to consider your request, or
  • if there is third party information involved about which we would have to consult with the third party.

3. Make a formal access application

If the information you are seeking is not available on this website and is not otherwise routinely provided by the Department on request, then you have a right to formally apply for access to specific information.

 

You can make a formal application by downloading and completing the government information access form and sending it to us at the following address:
Public Access to Information Unit
GPO Box 39, Sydney NSW 2001
Email: patiunit@planning.nsw.gov.au

 

The GIPA Act states that we are only able to accept access applications that:

  1. Are in writing and sent to us at the address above;
  2. Clearly state you are requesting information under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009;
  3. Enclose the $30 application fee;
  4. Have a return postal address as the address for correspondence; and
  5. Include as much specific information as necessary to enable us to identify the information you are asking for.

If your application does not meet these five requirements it will be considered an invalid application and will not be processed. If that happens, however, we will let you know and we will help you, if possible, by explaining how to meet these requirements.

 

Otherwise we will write acknowledging receipt of your valid access application within 5 working days, and will deal with your application within 20 working days (subject to any extensions allowed for under the Act). If any extension of time is required to deal with your application, we will let you know in writing.

Application fees and processing charges

The application fee for making an access application is $30. There may be additional processing charges at a rate of $30 per hour. In some circumstances we may require you to pay an advance deposit. We will let you know in writing if that applies to your application.

Certain discounts may apply, including on financial hardship and public interest grounds – for more details see the Information & Privacy Commission website.

Access application form

You are not legally required to use any particular form to make an access application (beyond satisfying the five requirements set out above), however the Department has created an application form that you may wish to use. 

Information that is not available in response to an access application

Although an access application may be made for all government information held by the Department, we will not be able to release information if there is an overriding public interest against the disclosure of the information.

In addition the GIPA Act does not allow the release of some document types, such as:
  • Cabinet information;
  • Executive Council information;
  • Documents that are subject to Parliamentary privilege; 
  • Documents that are subject of Legal Professional Privilege. 

Page last updated: 04/04/2017