Access to information

Kempsey Shire Council is committed to open, accountable and transparent government.

Under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (also known as the GIPA Act), you’re entitled to see many types of information held in Council records.

How to find Council information

Step 1: Search Kempsey Shire Council’s website to see if the information you’re looking for is already available.

Step 2: Request the information by phoning Council Customer Service on 6566 3200 or completing a Report an issue form. If we can informally release the information, we'll do so.

Step 3: For access to some information, we'll ask you to complete a GIPA Act Access Application form(PDF, 112KB). This is usually required if the information you seek involves other people and Council must consult them first. 

How the GIPA Act works

The GIPA Act provides you with four ways to access Council information: mandatory release, authorised proactive release, informal release and formal release. These categories are explained below.

1. Mandatory release (open access information)

Open access information is available free of charge and is published on our website. Council must release this information unless it's not in the public interest to do so. Information in this category includes:

2. Authorised proactive release

Authorised proactive release means that, in addition to the information we must release, Council is encouraged to proactively release as much other information as possible for free or at the lowest possible cost. This information can only be released if it's in the public interest.

3. Informal release

Some Council information is not typically available to the public. Informal release means you can apply to access any Council information that's not publicly available, and we'll provide the information if it's in the public interest and reasonable conditions are met. For example, you may apply to access information about yourself but not someone else.

Depending on the information you are requesting, we may recommend a Council archive file search. The fees for this are $80 per research hour spent on the request and $40 for each file that's retrieved from our archives.

To apply, you must complete an Application for Archived Files(PDF, 161KB)

4. Formal release

For certain information, you will need to submit a formal release application. This applies if the information you're seeking involves or is likely to involve:

  • information about a third party, whether an individual or a business
  • confidential information
  • commercial-in-confidence considerations
  • current or proposed legal action
  • a substantial investment of Council time or resources to meet your request.

To request information of this kind, please complete a GIPA Act Access Application form(PDF, 112KB)

More information

To learn more about the four ways of accessing Council information under the GIPA Act, see How to access government information in NSW.


There is a GIPA application fee of $30 for formal information requests.

If you have a Seniors Card, Pensioner Concession Card or Department of Veterans’ Affairs Gold Card (TPI and War Widows), the processing fee is reduced by 50% and is therefore $15 an hour.

Where the information you've requested is identified as being in the public interest, the processing fee is reduced by 50% and is therefore $15 an hour.

You may be asked to pay other fees depending on the information you've requested and the time it will take to process your request.

For more information about fees, see Council's Schedule of Fees and Charges(PDF, 2MB)


Under the Copyright Act 1968, we can't provide copies of any documents which may be subject to copyright without the express written consent of the copyright owner.

Review of a decision

If you're unhappy with Council’s decision about your information request, you can ask for a review of the decision by completing a GIPA Act Internal Review Application(PDF, 107KB)

More information

You can learn more about your right to Council information on the Information and Privacy Commission website.