Privacy Statement

Port Macquarie-Hastings Council (Council) has an obligation to protect the privacy of its customers. This Privacy Statement explains how your personal information (being information capable of identifying you as an individual) will be treated as you access and interact with Council.

Council is bound by the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (NSW) (GIPA Act), the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998 (NSW) (PPIP Act) and the Health Records and Information Privacy Act 2002 (NSW) (HRIP Act) and their corresponding regulations.

Our Privacy Management Plan Policy is designed to introduce policies and procedures to maximise compliance with the PPIP Act and the HRIP Act. In particular, the plan informs the community about how their collected or unsolicited personal information will be used, stored, disclosed and accessed and informs Council staff of their obligations in relation to handling personal information and when they can and cannot disclose, use or collect it.

Council also relies on exemptions to the PPIP Act provided to it in the Privacy Code of Practice for Local Government (Privacy Code).

What is personal information and how do we collect it?

What is personal information?

Personal information is anything that might reasonably identify an individual, including biometric information or an opinion about that individual regardless of whether it is true or correct. Personal information does not necessarily have to be recorded in a material form.

What is not personal information?

The PPIP Act ceases to cover personal information about an individual that is contained in a publicly available publication, however information that might lead a person to identify an individual through a publicly available publication is still personal information. Information about someone who has been deceased for more than thirty (30) years, and information or an opinion about a person's suitability for employment as a public sector official, are also not personal information under PPIP Act.

How we collect personal information

We are required to collect personal information from an individual to whom that information relates unless that individual authorises collection from another agent, or it is otherwise permitted by law. Collection may occur by phone, written correspondence to Council, email, facsimile, Council forms, Council website, associated partner websites and applications, other government agencies or in person.

a. Collection from other sources

When individuals use applications or websites that partner with Council or provided services on our behalf (“partners”), we may have agreements in place to collect personal information you provide to these partners. You may wish to view each individual privacy statement of these partners and note that using their services may constitute an authorisation for Council to collect personal information in this manner or that it may be a joint collection by both Council and the partner. A list of partners can be found under "Statistical website information".

b. Information that Council has not requested

Where your personal information has been provided to us unsolicited, it is not personal information under the PPIP Act. However, if this information is stored by Council, used for a purpose that Council normally uses such information, or is used in the performance of administrative tasks or actions, it may become personal information under the PPIP Act and we must handle it in accordance with the Act’s Information Protection Principles (IPPs).

c. Purpose of collection

The information collected by Council will be for lawful purposes directly related to the functions of Council. Unless permitted otherwise by law, Council will only request information that is reasonably necessary for the purpose for which it is collected.

d. Contractors and Agents

Any contractors, sub-contractors, or agents of Council are required to collect, use, disclose and handle your personal information in compliance with the PPIP Act. See “Consent, storage, and disclosure of personal information” for more information. 

Consent, storage, and disclosure of personal information

Your consent

By using certain pages on Council’s website, you have implied consent for the collection, use, and disclosure of your personal information that is collected on those pages. By using the website generally, noting that this Privacy Statement is clearly available, you have been notified of the collection of personal information you provide, and data our website collects. When you call, email, write to, or speak to a Council officer in person your personal information will necessarily be collected and you have consented to that collection and the related uses and disclosures at that time, unless you expressly state otherwise and refrain from providing personal information.

How we use and handle your personal information and data is outlined in the relevant Privacy Notices where we collect your personal information, as verbally advised by a Council officer where collection occurs verbally, or more generally below and in our Privacy Management Plan Policy.

Help us ensure we hold accurate information

We take all reasonable precautions to ensure that the personal information we collect or receive, use and disclose is accurate, complete and up to date. However, the accuracy of that information depends to a large extent on the information you provide. That is why we recommend you keep us up to date with changes to your personal information.

Personal information you provide us may be used:

  • for the purpose for which it was collected or provided, whether that be transactions carried out on this website or not;
  • for a purpose other than for which it was provided or collected and this latter purpose is directly related to the purpose for which the information was collected or provided;
  • to understand community and customer needs;
  • to improve our services whether through a statutory submissions process, a public exhibition of Council information, or surveys conducted by Council or its agents;
  • to administer and personalise this website for you;
  • to provide you with Council services and facilities;
  • to let you know about our services or other information available e.g. newsletters;
  • within other sections of Council, or its agents and contractors in order to expedite services to our customers or the public generally.

Any personal information may be used for a purpose other than the purpose for which it was provided or collected in the following circumstances:

  1. where the use or disclosure is for the purpose of undertaking Council's lawful and proper function/s and Council is satisfied that the personal information is reasonably necessary for the exercise of such function/s, or
  2. where personal information is to be used or disclosed for the purpose of conferring upon a particular person, an award, prize, benefit or similar form of personal recognition, or
  3. where the use or disclosure is necessary in order to action or facilitate a response to your enquiry or any contact made with or provided to Council.

For example, with respect to exemption (1) above, the Rates Record that Council holds under section 602 of the Local Government Act 1993 (NSW) may also be used to:

  • notify neighbours of a proposed development; or
  • evaluate a road opening; or
  • evaluate a tree preservation order, or
  • make contact with individuals in relation to COVID-19, a natural disaster or any other devastating events, or,
  • investigate, review or look into allegations made against individuals in terms of Council's compliance and enforcement, and other regulatory powers such as development and building compliance, environmental compliance, and companion animal matters.

We will only disclose your personal information if:

  • you have given actual or implied consent to disclose, or
  • the disclosure is required or permitted by legislation (such as the example provided above regarding the Local Government Act); or
  • it is necessary to lessen a threat to someone's life or health.

In some circumstances, we may disclose personal information to a third party in connection with the provision of a service to Council (e.g. consultants and contractors). In such circumstances, we only authorise use of the information in order to provide the services or to perform the functions required by us. We will take all reasonable steps within our power to prevent unauthorised use or disclosure of the information.

Please ensure you have read the Privacy Notices at each collection point on Council’s websites as these will disclose any known or likely disclosures to you. Further, please ensure you have read the privacy policies or statements of any of our partners to ensure you are aware of where the provision of information to Council or a partner is not a disclosure as contemplated under the PPIP Act.

Your personal information may need to be accessed, disclosed to, or used by other Council departments to deal with your matter

Sometimes in order for your matter to be dealt with, it may need to be provided to another department within the Council. If you do not consent to this, you must notify Council that you do not consent to this.

For example, if you contact Council's Development Services Team but you do not wish for the Rates team (or any other team) to have access to and use your personal information, you will need to specify this at the time of contact, and request that the officer notes this on your file. In the absence of such an explicit request, Council may allow for other Council departments to handle, access, use or disclose your personal information if it is necessary to perform a function as outlined in this Privacy Statement, the Privacy Management Plan Policy, or a specific Privacy Notice.

Information marked 'Confidential' and/or 'for the addressee only'

All correspondence, no matter how it is marked or addressed, will be received, recorded and assessed by our Customer Service team before being forwarded to the Council officer best place to action or resolve the correspondence. This includes any electronic correspondence sent or contact made with Council, the Mayor, or Councillors. Correspondence includes:

  • sending an email to or any other Council email address;
  • any contact with Council's online chat or social media platforms, or those of individual Councillors;
  • phone calls to Council's customer service centre or other Council facilities;
  • completing an online form; or
  • hard copy letters and correspondence sent to Council's postal address.

Complaints Handling

In accordance with Council's Code of Conduct, only code of conduct complaints are to be dealt with under Council's Code of Conduct Procedures. Complaints that do not satisfy the definition of a code of conduct complaint are to be dealt with under Council's routine complaints management processes outlined in our Customer Complaints Policy.

However, if such complaints involve allegations about your privacy and personal information, the complaint will be dealt with as per Council's Privacy Management Plan Policy. This may require the complaint to be allocated to another Council Official for action and/or investigating. See "Your privacy rights" for more information. 

Councillors and the Administration

The Councillors, including the Mayor, comprise the governing body of Council and are responsible for the strategic direction of Council. The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is responsible for conducting the day-to-day management of Council's affairs. The CEO and the staff comprise the Administration of the Council.

The governing body is required to consult with the CEO in directing and controlling the affairs of Council. As a result, any information relating to the affairs of Council, including personal information, which Councillors receive, must be forwarded to the administration staff for a response or action.


Statistical website information

When you visit our website to read or download information, the following information will be recorded for statistical purposes:

  • your server's address;
  • the name of the top level domain from which you access the Internet (for example, .gov, .com, .edu, .org, .au, .nz etc);
  • the type of browser you use;
  • the date and time you accessed this site;
  • the pages you accessed and the documents you downloaded;
  • the previous Internet address from which you linked directly to this site; and
  • the Internet address to which you visit directly by following a link on this site.

How we use the information collected

The information collected during each visit to Council’s website is used to create a statistics summary which allows Council to assess the number of visitors to the different sections of our sites, discover what information is most and least used, determine technical design specifications, and help make our sites more useful to visitors.

Is the information stored securely?

Yes. Information collected is stored in a secure format and protected by encryption technology, and held for archival purpose. If the information is no longer required for its intended purpose, it will be disposed of in accordance with General Authority 45 as issued under the State Records Act 1998 (NSW).


We track the pattern of visitor usage using a facility called a cookie. This cookie identifies and recognises the computer (but not the person using the computer) when you visit Council's website. Cookies are pieces of information that a website can transfer to an individual's computer hard drive for record keeping.

The use of cookies is an industry standard and you will find most major websites use them. Most Internet browsers are pre-set to accept cookies. If you prefer not to receive cookies, you can adjust your Internet browser to disable cookies or to warn you when cookies are being used.

Links to other websites

Our website contains links to other websites. These linked sites are not under the control of Council. Accordingly, it is the responsibility of the internet user to make their own decisions about the relevance or accuracy, currency and reliability of information found on other sites. We are not responsible for the management or protection of any personal information you provide to these sites. Before you disclose personal information on any other website we recommend you examine the terms and conditions of using that website. In addition, we do not necessarily endorse or support the views, opinions, standards or information expressed at linked sites.


Council partners with the following service providers to improve community engagement and ease of service. Each partner may have a separate privacy statement or policy and we encourage you to read those. By using any of these partner’s services for a purpose related to Council, you have consented to Council collecting your personal information from those partners.

Bang The Table


Pet rescue







Burst SMS



Campaign Monitor

Grant Finder

Welldone International


Microsoft Booking Calendar



Open Forms


Community Directory/Diary  



Development Tracker




Social Media

Council uses social networking services including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Google Plus and YouTube to communicate with the public about our services. When you communicate with us using these services we may collect your personal information. Council may use personal information collected in this manner to help us to communicate with you and the public and in accordance with this Privacy Statement and Privacy Management Plan Policy. The social networking service will also handle your personal information for its own purposes and we recommend you closely review any privacy policy or statement they provide.

Other important information


Council uses drones for aerial survey work directly related to functions of waste management, compliance, infrastructure management and community events. Personal information, such as digital imagery may be collected during the drone flights. Information collected in this manner will be handled in accordance with the IPPs and Council’s CCTV (Closed Circuit TV) and Camera Monitoring Policy.

Submissions, Petitions and Public Forums

Information collected via submissions, petitions, and at public meetings or forums may form part of Council reports or be made public in their entirety subject to the provisions of the GIPA Act. You may request, in writing, that Council suppress personal information in your submission from public release, if you consider that the personal safety of any person would be affected if the information was not suppressed. Any such request will be dealt with in accordance with the GIPA and the PPIPA.

Children's privacy

We take all reasonable steps to protect the privacy of children. We ask that children under the age of 18 have a parent or guardian submit personal information on their behalf when required.

Contacting by email

We will only record your email address if you choose to send us an email. The email address is only used for the purpose for which you have provided it to Council and is not added to any mailing list. We will not use your email address for any other purpose unless we are required to do so by law, and will not disclose it without your consent.

Changes to this statement

We will occasionally update this Privacy Statement. Updates will be reflected by the published date. It is your responsibility to check the website for any such changes to ensure that you are familiar with them.


Council reserves copyright on all of its publications and website content. Unless permitted under the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth), no part of any such content may be reproduced, modified, adapted or published in any way for any commercial purposes whatsoever.

Requests and enquiries concerning reproduction and copyright should be addressed in writing to:


We are committed to quality service and we make every attempt to ensure accuracy, currency and reliability of the information contained in this Privacy Statement. However, changes in circumstances, such as amendments to legislation or new case law, after time of publication may impact the accuracy of this information. It is the individual’s responsibility to make their own investigations about the correctness of information in this Privacy Statement.

Useful documents

The Information and Privacy Commission provides information further about privacy through the following fact sheets:

How to contact

If you have any questions please contact our Customer Service team at or call 02 6581 8111. Other information can be obtained from the NSW information and Privacy Commission.

Information and Privacy Commission contact details

NSW Information Commissioner

NSW Privacy Commissioner

Postal Address: GPO Box 7011, Sydney NSW 2001

Address: Level 11, 201 Elizabeth Street, Sydney NSW 2000



Phone: 1800 472 679


Your privacy rights

You have the right to determine whether Council holds personal information about you, access or alter your personal information, or make a privacy related complaint. 

Complete the relevant form below and lodge it with Council

Privacy Complaint – Internal Review Application

If you feel that we have not adequately protected your privacy please complete and lodge a Privacy Complaint - Internal Review Application(PDF, 374KB).

Should you still be dissatisfied you may contact the Information & Privacy Commission NSW for assistance. More information can be found on the IPC How do I make a complaint? webpage. 

















If you have any queries about this privacy statement, please contact us.