The upshot is that it's not all over. There are ongoing discussions with officers of the Attorney-General's Department "around legislation". The issue seems certain to be canvassed in the review of the act to commence before the end of November.
The Department of Senate has received six FOI requests, and Parliamentary Services seven, since May.
Dr Laing said she had no argument with the idea that the FOI Act should apply to administrative documents of the department. "We do run on taxpayers' money; we are open and transparent about our operations. The difficulty comes, I think, with things that are not the administrative functions of the Department of the Senate, and that is the whole area of proceedings of parliament and the operation of the Senate and its committees, and there is a very strong argument under the separation of powers ..... What parliament does is up to parliament, not up to the executive."
(Update-not that it is of any great consequence as there are many jurisdictions where the legislative branch is subject to an access to information law, but noticed this foreshadowed move in New York state to extend FOI following, you guessed it revelation of payments to settle s..ual harassment claims. Shades of recent events in Canberra.)
Department of the Senate Estimates
Australian Information Commissioner