Our population forecast for 2017 is 51,002 and is forecast to grow to 92,102 by 2036. Council provide vital services to our community but face the challenges of growing demand and limited resources. Data enables informed decision making such as to advocate for policy change, streamline processes, improve access to information to deliver better services and increase community participation, satisfaction, transparency and economic opportunity.
The Open Data Institute has conducted research into public services and their findings indicate that open data plays a role in making them better and more cost effective. The Open Data Institute have also published research on how data is being used to innovate and transform a range of industries. Although Council is just starting our open data journey, we’ve been using data to inform decision making for years.
We’ve also partnered with the Federal, State and the Western Sydney City Deal Councils including Blue Mountains, Camden, Fairfield, Hawkesbury, Liverpool, Penrith and Campbelltown to proactively assess data with the intention to open as much data as practical and share with each other to support data-driven decision making and deliver better outcomes for communities across the Western Parklands City.
Every council and government agency collects data but often do not share their data with other agencies and the community. However, our secure Open Data platform and skilled resources now provide us with the opportunity to open our data. To drive transparency and openness, and build trust we commit to:
- Communicate clearly about what we are doing with data
- Be open about how we are managing any risks
- Track the benefits that come from data sharing and promote good news
- Provide clear response lines for community concerns about data use
- Be upfront about any problems that occur through use of data.
The purpose of this site is to provide anyone in the community or around the world with access to our catalog of datasets. Users can create graphs, charts, and maps based on the datasets, as well as download data, interact with it, and reuse it - check out the how to guides. We will be continually adding datasets. We invite you to share how you've used our data to improve your decision making, how you've created new business opportunities or innovation.
Data Sharing Principles & Risk Management
Data sharing is where Council and government agencies provide authorised access, usually within Council or to research institutions to the data they hold in a controlled manner to help deliver better outcomes for our community.
The ‘Five Safes’ is an internationally recognised risk management model designed to help identify and manage data sharing risks. Under this framework, data sharing risks are managed across five 'safety' dimensions: people, projects, settings, output and data.
For each of the safe dimensions, there are a set of questions outlined on our data sharing request / access form to help identify and manage any risks.
- Safe People: Sharing data only with authorised users. Council may only share data with users who are able to use the data appropriately and keep the data safe. Safe people have the knowledge, skills and incentives to store and use the data appropriately.
- Safe Settings: Using data only in a safe and secure environment. Council needs to ensure that data will only be accessed and used within an appropriately safe and secure environment. Safe settings in the Five Safes model refer to the practical controls on how data is accessed.
- Safe Projects: Sharing data only for appropriate and authorised purposes. Council may only share data for appropriate projects, where they are authorised to do so and there are clear public benefits. Safe projects in the Five Safes model refer to the legal, moral and ethical considerations surrounding the use of data.
- Safe Outputs: Ensuring public outputs from data sharing projects do not identify people or organisations. Council must put in place clear conditions of access and use to ensure that when results from data sharing projects are released, the identity of the people or businesses that provided the data remains private and confidential.
- Safe Data: Applying appropriate protections. Council need to understand how sensitive their datasets are before they can decide on whether and how to share the datasets.
Open Data Licencing
Open data is data that a Council wants to make available to the public. All our open data has a Creative Commons license. The Creative Commons licenses are designed to provide copyright owners with an efficient way to manage the rights contained in their copyright work, and to provide data users with simple and flexible terms for use. Creative Commons is an internationally recognised licensing standard and has been adopted as the default position for open data in many other jurisdictions. Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) allows users to distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon the data, even commercially, as long as they credit the licensor for the original creation in the terms required by the licensor. CC BY is one of several licences in the Creative Commons licensing suite.