From 1 July 2019, the Turnbull Government will reduce and remove the fees for accessing certain information from the online business registries maintained by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).
Existing search fees of $40 will be cut to $19 to reduce the burden on individuals and businesses that need to access company roles and relationship extracts from the online registries.
The Government will also extend the fee exemption that is currently available to some journalists for certain registry searches, as specified in the Corporations (Fees) Regulations 2001,to all journalists, for all registry searches. An exemption from these fees will facilitate free access to important information about companies and financial services providers. Associated changes to the various ASIC registries will not affect ASIC’s resourcing from the Budget.
Journalists will qualify for the exemption where they are seeking access to the information in the course of their professional work.
Both measures will reduce the impost on those seeking information on companies, organisations or corporations. Furthermore, expanding the group of journalists that will benefit from the exemption from fees will aid public discussion.
The Government acknowledges the advocacy of Centre Alliance Senator, Rex Patrick for these reforms to increase the accessibility of the business registries to journalists and the wider public.