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What is Right to Information?

The Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (GIPA Act) replaced the Freedom of Information Act 1989 (FOI Act) 1989 on 1 July 2010.

The aim of the new Right to Information law is to maintain and advance a system of responsible and representative democratic government that is open, accountable, fair and effective. The object of the GIPA Act is to open government information to the public by:

  • authorising and encouraging the proactive release of government information by agencies;
  • giving members of the public an enforceable right to access government information; and
  • providing that access to government information is restricted only when there is an overriding public interest against disclosure.

The GIPA Act establishes four ways for the public to access government information.

  1. Open Access Information (aka Mandatory Release) - Certain information must be published on an agency's website, and available free of charge, including policy documents, a disclosure log of information released and refused under the GIPA Act, and a register of government contracts.
  2. Proactive Release - Agencies are encouraged to take the initiative to release as much government information as possible, in an appropriate manner and free of charge, or at lowest reasonable cost.
  3. Informal Release - Agencies are encouraged to release information on request without the need for a formal access application, subject to any reasonable conditions.
  4. Formal Access - In some circumstances, access to information will require formal access applications and a fee. This is similar to how Freedom of Information applications were received and processed.

For further information contact:
Right to Information Officers, NSW Ambulance
State Headquarters Locked Mail Bag 105, Rozelle NSW 2039
Phone: (02) 9320 7606 or (02) 9320 7658, 9am - 5pm, Monday to Friday.

General information about accessing government information under the GIPA Act is available from:
The Information and Privacy Commission
GPO Box 7011, Sydney NSW 2001
Phone: 1800 472 679, 9am - 5pm, Monday to Friday

The Information and Privacy Commission (IPC) has been established as part of the Right to Information system and is led by an Information Commissioner.

The role of the Information Commissioner is to promote public awareness and understanding of the new right to information law, and provide information, support, advice, assistance and training to agencies and the general public.

The IPC has developed a range of guidance material that is designed to help the public and non-government organisations understand the new right to information system and ways to access information held by agencies.

GIPA web button portrait high res v1 Click here for the office of the Information Commissioner website.