How can I access information held by the department?
Step 1: Look for the information on the website
The department publishes a large volume of material on its websites. We try to release as much government information as possible, either through our websites or in another appropriate way, and free of charge or at the lowest reasonable cost. Under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009, certain information is required by law to be available on our website, free of charge. This is called 'open access information'.
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. Our information guide will give you some guidance about the other kinds of information the department holds and releases publicly.
If you cannot find the information you are looking for on our websites, you can ask us whether the information has already been released by the department proactively in some other form, such as in print.
Step 2: Make an informal request
If the information you are after has not already been published by the department, but is information which raises no particular concerns (in terms of possible public interest reasons why it should be kept confidential), then the department may be able to release it to you on request without the requirement of having to make a formal application.
If you think this applies to the information you are after you can contact us to make an informal request.
Generally, we try to release information we hold without the need for you to make a formal access application, unless there are good reasons to require one.
Under the Government Information (Public Access) Act however, government agencies are not required to release information without an access application. The department reserves the right to require you to lodge an access application, 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 if it would otherwise take the department a significant amount of time to consider your request.
Step 3: Make a formal access application
If the information you are seeking is not available on our websites 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, completing and posting the information access form (link below) and sending it to us at the address below:
Governance & Information Unit
NSW Department of Industry
PO Box K348
Haymarket NSW 1240
For queries, please email email@example.com.
The Act says that we are only able to accept access applications that:
- Are in writing and sent to us at the address above
- Clearly state you are requesting information under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (NSW)
- Enclose the $30 application fee (cheques/money orders should be made payable to NSW Department of Industry)
- Include a postal address in Australia as the address for correspondence; and
- Include as much specific information as necessary to enable us to identify the information you are asking for.
If your application does not include these five things, it will be invalid and will not be processed. If that happens, however, we will let you know and we will help you, if possible, by explaining how you can make a valid application.
We will write to acknowledge receipt of a valid access application within 5 working days, and will deal with your application within 20 working days (subject to any extension 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. Processing charges can also be imposed at the rate of $30 per hour. In some circumstances an advance deposit can be required. 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 visit the Information and Privacy Commission NSW website.
Access application form
Although there is no legal requirement for you to use any particular form to make an access application (beyond satisfying the five requirements set out above), the department has provided a form (below) that you may wish to use for convenience.