How to lobby your local council

Here are just a few of the arguments that you can use when lobbying your local council to publish its planning data in a machine readable format. These are jumping off points to get you started.

Be prepared for the first response being "No". That's normal. Have your arguments ready and be persistent.

Use Mosman Council as an example of what good local councils can do. They provide a list of machine readable feeds which are licensed under a Creative Commons licence.

In NSW the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (the GIPA Act) places requirements on local councils to publish the information they hold about development applications on their websites. For further arguments you can use, see the Federal Government's "Declaration of Open Government" of 2010 in which it was stated that the government supports

“… strengthening citizen’s rights of access to information, establishing a pro-disclosure culture across Australian Government agencies including through online innovation, and making government information more accessible and usable”

Would you like to discuss the best approach? Have questions? Then email the OpenAustralia Community mailing list.

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