Right to information: formal applications

What sort of information can be asked for?

Under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (GIPA Act) you can ask for any kind of personal or non-personal information. Personal information includes your client registration details, requests for service or to attend events. Non-personal information includes material about the State Library's functions and activities, management and administrative records. Information can be in formats such as documents, files, computer printouts, architectural drawings, plans and video recordings.

The State Library makes a great deal of non-personal information public through its website and other publications. It is recommended that you speak to one of the State Library's Right to Information Officers before making a formal application.
View Right to Information Officer contact details

Making a formal access application

To make a formal access application you must complete the Access Application form and return it with the accompanying correct fee (see below) by mail or in person to:
Right to Information Officer
State Library of NSW
Macquarie St
Sydney NSW 2000.

View the

In order for a formal access application to be considered valid under the GIPA Act it must comply with the requirements listed in s.41(1) of the Act. That is:

  • it must be in writing sent to or lodged at an office of the agency concerned,
  • it must clearly indicate that it is an access application made under this Act,
  • it must be accompanied by a fee of $30,
  • it must state a postal address in Australia as the address for correspondence in connection with the application,
  • it must include such information as is reasonably necessary to enable the government information applied for to be identified.

View s.41(1) of the GIPA Act

Please note: the State Library of NSW can refuse your formal access application if:

  • the information you have asked for is already publicly available
  • you have not paid the application fee and if required the advance deposit
  • your request would take an unreasonable amount of time to process
  • there is an overriding public interest against disclosure.

How much will it cost?

Application fee: the application fee is $30 made payable, by cheque or money order, to the Library Council of New South Wales.
Note: please do NOT send cash by post.

Processing charges: $30 per hour (if you’re seeking access to your personal information, the first 20 hours of processing time is free of charge).

Reduction in charges: you can apply for a 50 per cent reduction in processing costs on the grounds of financial hardship, or ask for a waiver of the fee if the information will be of special benefit to the public generally.

Advance deposit: you will be required to pay an advance deposit, up to a maximum of 50% of the amount we estimate to be the total processing charge for dealing with the application, in cases where it is likely that the charge for processing an access application will be excessive.

Review of decisions

There are three ways a decision made by the State Library about a formal access application for information can be reviewed.  They are:

  • an internal review
  • an external review by the Information Commissioner or
  • an external review by the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

Agency decisions not to publish open access information or informally release information are not reviewable.

View internal review
View external review