Under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (GIPA Act), every NSW Government department and agency is required to publish an annual Agency Information Guide.

Banner Agency Information Guide

As at November 2022

The information in this guide describes the structure, functions and the role of Council as well as:

  • functions of Council that affect you
  • ways in which you can get involved with Council's policies & functions
  • information that we hold
  • information we have that is available to the public and ways that you can access this information
  • what information we can provide free of charge and what incurs a cost.

Guiding principles

We are responsible for looking after Sutherland Shire on behalf of its residents within powers set out in the Local Government Act, 1993.

This Act provides guidance to enable us to perform in a way that facilitates a strong, healthy and prosperous community. These principles describe how we function generally in regards to representation, consultation, leadership, planning and decision-making.

SSC Organisation Chart

Divisional structure

We are a service organisation and undertake a large number of activities to benefit the wider community.  The sections below detail the tasks and responsibilities of the functional divisions and units.

Responsibilities include:

  • assisting Council to develop strategic directions to guide the Community Strategic Plan and Delivery Program
  • informing and advising Councillors on decision-making and fulfilling their civic duties
  • maintaining and building relationships with community, governments and key stakeholders
  • leading, motivating and managing our employees to create a customer-focussed organisation with a culture of high performance
  • ensuring our organisation structure is appropriate for effective decision-making, efficient delivery of services and performance improvement
  • ensuring we meet all legislative, statutory reporting and accounting requirements, and that our policies are adhered to
  • ensuring enterprise risk and the health and safety of employees is effectively managed
  • implementing the Delivery Program and reporting on its progress to Council via regular updates and reviews.

Responsibilities include:

  • corporate governance
  • corporate planning and performance
  • elected member support
  • people and culture
  • financial management
  • community engagement
  • customer experience
  • enterprise content management
  • workplace health and safety
  • enterprise risk management
  • procurement and
  • legal.

Responsible for:

  • strategic asset planning and management
  • sustainability
  • design and survey services
  • project delivery
  • building operations
  • civil operations
  • parks operations
  • waste and cleansing services
  • fleet and logistics
  • emergency services.

Responsible for:

  • leisure centres
  • public safety and lifeguards
  • arts and culture (including performing arts and Hazelhurst Arts Centre)
  • children’s services
  • libraries
  • business and tourism
  • sport and community services.

Responsible for:

  • land use planning and policy
  • environmental policy and advice
  • environmental science
  • traffic and transport
  • public domain
  • development and subdivision assessment
  • public health issues and inspections
  • environmental and building compliance
  • pool safety
  • tree management
  • fire safety.
Bushcare volunteers
Image of waste driver in truck

Public participation

We regularly work with our community to provide avenues for participation and feedback to Council for issues affecting our local area through :

We also have information sessions on development applications and through the Independent Hearing and Assessment Panel. This is specifically to encourage the resolution of development related community concerns in the assessment process.

Our vision for the future

Our Vision is A connected and safe community that respects people and nature, enjoying active lives in a strong local economy. 

We utilise the NSW Integrated Planning and Reporting Framework to identify the priorities and aspirations of our community and develop strategies and plans to implement these goals.

Find out more about our integrated and consultative approach to strategic planning.

The Integrated Planning and Reporting Framework

Decision Making

We are responsible for the planning and maintenance of the local government area, as guided by the Local Government Act, 1993 and decisions made by us impact residents, land owners and business operators.

When policy, planning and strategic issues are considered, decisions are made by elected members at a meeting of Council. Less significant decisions are made under delegated authority by appropriate staff.

Council information

The Access to Information Policy describes how community members and Councillors can access information that we record and how we process requests for access to this information under the GIPA Act.

Find out more under the Access to Information Policy. - PDF - 220 KB

We provide current and historical information about Sutherland Shire in-line with The Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (GIPA Act).

The following information is defined as Open Access Information under Section 18 of the GIPA Act and is required to be made available:

Additional documents open access documents

Sometimes what you’re looking for isn't on our website. In this case, you can make an open access or informal access request for information.

Some information (e.g. plans) may be subject to copyright. Documents subject to copyright can be provided with the written permission of the copyright owner of the document.

Open and informal access to information request

Documents that are defined as open access information under Section 18 of the GIPA Act, which are not available through our website can be viewed free of charge on-screen at our Administration Centre by appointment.

Formal access to information request

We’ll seek to answer all requests informally. When this isn’t possible, we'll ask you to make a formal application. To make a formal application for information, applicants will need to pay a processing fee. Strict time frames and certain communication requirements must also be met under the guiding legislation.

Formal access to information request - PDF - 151 KB

The GIPA Act gives the public a right to access information held by Council unless there is an overriding public interest against disclosure of the information.

Find out more about requesting information from Council.

Potential fees and charges you may incur are outlined in our Schedule of Fees and Charges.

Open Data generally refers to information stored digitally by an organisation that should be made freely available so that anyone who accesses the data is free to use it, rearrange it and publish it as they wish without copyright restrictions applying.

This concept operates in conjunction with the objectives of the GIPA Act and Council encourages members of the public to contact Council with suggestions for information which can be considered for authorised proactive release.

A similar position is taken in the context of Open Data, as Council likewise encourages members of the public to make suggestions with respect to the kinds of data that Council may consider making available to the public.

There are many government-based open data initiatives in Australia including:

Council policies

We may proactively release information which does not constitute open access information.

This information is available through:

For more information contact our Access to Information Officer.