Access to information

Access to information

Helping you access information you need

As a member of the public you have the right to access certain government information. In this section you can learn about the different ways to access information about the City of Sydney.

There are 4 ways to help you get the information you may need.

1. Open access information

Certain information, known as Open Access Information must be disclosed by us unless it is not in the public interest to do so. This website is a central reference point you can use to search for what you need.

2. Proactive release

We proactively release information with a commitment to providing as much information as possible, for free or at the lowest possible cost. It is also our intent to make information easily accessible to the public. You can find information on our website or by contacting our Customer Service Centre on 02 9265 9333.

3. Informal release of information

For information that is not readily available you can submit an informal request. Examples of this information include:

  • development application consent and plans
  • building application/construction certificate plans or certificates
  • occupation certificates
  • planners reports.

When submitting your request, it is important to provide an accurate description of the required information. There is no application fee for informal requests for information, however copying charges may apply and will be charged on completion of the request.

We aim to respond to requests within 10 working days. However, response times will vary depending on the current levels of demand on our services and the type of information being requested. You can download an informal access to information request and lodge it via email, fax or in person at our Neighbourhood Service Centres.

4. Formal access application for release of information

If you can't access your required information through any of the previous methods, a formal access application may be necessary. Examples include:

  • large volumes of information that involve extensive search
  • information that involves details of third parties who must be consulted.

A standard application fee of $30 applies. The City may impose a processing charge of $30 per hour for dealing with your application. You can download the formal access application form and lodge it at one of our Neighbourhood Service Centres or by mail.

Agency Information Guide

You can view our Agency Information Guide here.

Accessing files more than 7 years old

Our Archives team can help, should you require information that is more than 7 years old. Simply contact them on 02 9265 9618 or via email.

Obtaining property owner information

We only release property owner details if they are a business or corporation. In compliance with privacy laws, we do not release individual ownership details. You can apply for individual property ownership information at the Land and Property Information office.

Your review rights

If you have been refused access to information you can appeal against the decision by completing a request for internal review application. This incurs a $40 review fee. Following the internal review decision, if you are still not satisfied you may appeal to either the Information and Privacy Commissioner (IPC) or the Administrative Decisions Tribunal.

Last updated: Thursday, 2 July 2015