This report concludes that further change to FOI legislation is needed. A new charges framework could enable the FOI Act to work better in providing public access to government information without impairing the other responsibilities of agencies and ministers....The prevailing theme in all consultation for this report was that the FOI Act is a vital statute that must be supported by government and made to work in an optimal manner. My recommendations for reform are framed in that spirit. I commend them to the Australian Government for close consideration.
In NSW, to Premier O'Farrell's commitment while in opposition to abolish application fees? And to the review of fees and charges by the NSW Information Commissioner that kicked off with a consultation paper and a survey in October last year and seems to have dropped off the radar since?
And in Tasmania has anyone had a look at the consequential effects on applicants, and savings in administrative costs as a result of the decision in 2009 to retain a small application fee and abolish other charges?
If access to information law has the worthy public purpose of increasing public participation in government activity, the fees and charges regime, managed at significant cost to the taxpayer, shouldn't block the way.