Free Our Data: the blog

A Guardian Technology campaign for free public access to data about the UK and its citizens

How does Australia charge for government data?

We’re intrigued by a comment on Ed Parsons’ blog (where he is talking about the model used by the island of Jersey, which is part, sort of, of the UK; he notes that “In contrast to the rest of the UK, Jersey with a single layer of government, has just got on a built a single land and property address database which is widely adopted and has become the standard for government use… Half of the possible 8000 government employees access the sole corporate geospatial Intranet and on the sister Island of Guernsey the utilities companies are beginning to publish their assets to single password protected website.”)

In the discussion that follows (which we have weighed in to), there’s a comment that

The model use in Jersey is similar to the models that now dominate in Australia. The heavy cost recovery models of the 1990s are now giving way to more sensible and effective understanding on pricing and access to spatial data. In most Australian states web portals provide citizens with free access to basic spatial information (either at state of local government level). The cross charging across government and to the public is declining as it was shown that it cause dysfunctional behaviour and held back the potential of SI. Commercial users are required to pay licence fees but at reasonable pricing levels which will still stimulates economic growth.

Can anyone point us to more detail about how Australia implements its charging models?

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