Cost of one day transcript In Muckaty case – $1,374.12

I was told by a lawyer for the applicants that the evidence by a Warlmanpa senior man given at Muckaty Outstation on Saturday 14 June 2014 was particularly good.

As i could not attend that day, and these Federal court proceedings are recorded, i thought i could catch up by reading the transcript.

Quote for cost of a transcript, “as supplied to the other parties” – $1,374.12 .

I do not regard this as at all reasonable. Under the previous Commonwealth transcription service, in the early 1980s, copies were 5cents a page.

Even i (the very antithesis of money) could afford thousands of pages of the Warumungu land claim transcript.

Copyright conditions attached to copies of transcripts supplied to other parties can prevent them from sharing the information.

See, for example, http://www.fedcourt.gov.au/case-management-services/access-to-files-and-transcripts/transcript/non-party-access

And you cannot get simple copies of the audio materials – to listen for yourself and forego the transcriptions costs.

At these prices it was far cheaper for me to fly from Sydney to Alice Springs (return); accommodation in Alice Springs (2 nights); hire car for 1,000 km return trip Alice Springs – Tennant Creek; 5 nights accommodation in Tennant Creek to hear four days of Warlmanpa evidence than to stay home and buy a copy of the transcript of those 4 days. There is something seriously wrong with this Federal Court transcription pricing for members of the public (aka non-party)!

Members of the public are increasingly being denied access to the working of our systems of justice by such mean$.

I have no doubt that runaway capitalism will eventually cannibalise itself, but – alas – not in this lifetime.