How to access information

How information is made available

The government is required to make information publicly available in a number of ways.

Mandatory proactive release of certain government information

The following is the department’s open access information that is required to be made publicly available under section 6 of the GIPA Act.

Authorised proactive release of government information

The department is authorised to make any government information held by the agency publicly available unless there is an overriding public interest against disclosure of the information.

The department reviews its program for the proactive release of government information every 12 months

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.

Informal request

How to make an informal request

You may make a request for any other type of information held by the department. As a general rule the department will provide the following types of information based on an informal request:

  • copies of correspondence sent to us by you;
  • copies containing your personal information;
  • copies of documents that are already in the public domain.

If you think this applies to the information you are after you can contact us to make an informal request.

Please note that in some cases you may be asked to submit a formal request. Conditions may also be imposed in some cases in relation to the use or disclosure of information provided to you under an informal request.

Formal access application

How to make a formal access application

You may apply for access to all other information held by the department, with the exception of information that is categorised as 'excluded information' under GIPA Act

The application fee for making an access application is $30.00. Processing charges can also be imposed at the rate of $30.00 per hour. In some circumstances an advance deposit can be required. We will let you know in writing if that applies to your application.

You can make a formal GIPA access application online and pay the $30 application fee using Visa or Mastercard, or by downloading and completing the government information access form and sending it to us with a cheque or money order at the following address:

Privacy and Access to Information Unit
Department of Planning, Industry and Environment
Locked Bag 5022, Parramatta NSW 2124

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

  1. Are in writing and sent to us at the postal or email address above
  2. Clearly state you are requesting information under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (NSW)
  3. Enclose the $30.00 application fee (cheques/money orders should be made payable to NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment)
  4. Include a postal or email address as the address for correspondence; and
  5. Include as much specific information as necessary to enable us to identify the information you are seeking.

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.

Internal review rights

We will notify you of the outcome of your formal application and your rights of review.

An application for internal review is $40, and must be made within 20 working days of a decision being notified to you. Applications for review to the Information and Privacy Commission or the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal must be made within 40 working days of a decision being made.

Requests for internal review can be lodged online.

Compliance and regulatory matters

There is an overriding public interest against disclosing policy documents concerning some compliance and regulatory guidelines, functions and activities. A redacted version may be available where sensitive information can be excluded without compromising the integrity or understanding of the document.

Sensitive information may, for example, be thresholds for escalation of sanctions from warning to infringement notice or court appearance. If this information was disclosed it may lead to multiple consecutive offences by the same offender at levels just under the designated threshold. Similarly, information on inspection planning activities may allow offenders to avoid detection.

Last Updated: 23/07/2020