Request City of Sydney records

There's no application fee for information access requests but if something isn’t digitised scanning charges may apply. Application fees apply for section 41 applications and internal review applications.

Project Status: When you need to do this

Before you start

Search our website

What you need to do

Make an information access request

Make your request online:

Request City of Sydney records

You can also lodge a written information access request in person at one of our customer or neighbourhood service centres.

No fees or charges apply to information access requests (unless you need records scanned). Almost all information that is not readily available online can be provided this way. When making your request, it is important to be specific about the information you need.

Examples of information you can usually request in this way include:

  • development applications, including planners reports, consents, development submissions and plans – but first, try searching development applications and our archives and history resources catalogue
  • building and construction related applications and certificates
  • photographs
  • plans of management
  • local history material
  • submissions and complaints with information removed that may identify third parties
  • infrastructure maintenance records including footpath and road works.

Access applications under the Government Information (Public Access) Act

Section 41 access applications (sometimes referred to as GIPAA ‘formal’ applications) are dealt with by our information access team. We recommend you contact the team on 02 9265 9066 or [email protected] for advice on if you need to make an access application. The City of Sydney rarely requires an access application.

Access applications require an application fee and we charge hourly processing rates in line with the act. Decisions on access applications have review rights for applicants and third parties.

Access to certain information may require an access application. For example, this application type may be required if you want sensitive or private information about people, organisations, or businesses (other than your own). This requires a balancing of public interest considerations for and against disclosure.

If you choose to make a section 41 access application:

  1. it must be in an email, or in writing sent by post or handed in at an office of the City of Sydney, or lodged using the online form
  2. it must clearly indicate that it is an access application made under the Government Information Public Access Act
  3. it must be accompanied by a fee of $30
  4. it must state the name of the applicant and a postal or email address as the address for correspondence in connection with the application
  5. it must include such information as is reasonably necessary to enable the government information applied for to be identified.

If applying by email or letter please do not include your credit card details. The City of Sydney has a secure online payment system or you can send a cheque with your letter.

If making your section 41 access application:

Review rights

  • If you wish to dispute our decision of a section 41 access application you can request an internal review within 20 days of receiving the decision.
  • There is a standard application fee of $40 for an internal review request.
  • Use our digital form to request an internal review.

After you finish

We aim to respond to information access requests within 10 working days, but response times will vary depending on the current levels of demand on our services and the type of information being requested.

We are required to decide section 41 access applications within 20 working days. In some circumstances legislative provisions allow extensions to this time period.

We provide access with a digital copy whenever we can or by viewing in the Town Hall House reading room or our virtual reading room. For copyright material we will only provide copies if you have the copyright owner’s consent.

More about information access