I have been a member of NAA for some 15 years or more now and although I have been away from my research for some years, now I finally have time and health balanced enough to restart my activity. So I started off with my Aunt who was in the land army during WWII. Finding her records wasn't a problem it was the next step that caused me concern.
I went to "request a digital copy" (this button was on the top left hand corner of the record along with "purchase copy") to view online as I have done in previous years and found firstly this button no longer existed and secondly I now have to pay for this privelage. I understand if I wanted physical copies I would have to pay but to view a digital copyonline, that is then accessable to everybody else for free.
So to confirm this I then went to my fathers records, which I had accessed previously many years ago free of charge and found that there was only two pages of his records available, but still free to view. I dont know what happened to the rest but that is another days question. Luckily at the time I also paid for physical copies to be sent to me.
Anyway, I thought there must be an answer to this on the forums so off I trot log in to NAA in hand and found that I had to reregister to access the forums talking about double handed red tape. jumping through the hoops and found an old post and reply on WWII veterans on how NAA braged about dropping the price from $75 to $36 (give or take a couple of cents) and the author of the reply seemed proud of it.
So here is my delemma, The NAA is the primary custodians of our history primarily funded by the Federal Government, including wages. A Government that most of us have dutifally paid our taxes to over the year. In my personal opinion there is no justification for this cost to access digital copies.
Now being on a disability pension in rural Tasmania I personally cannot justify this extra cost just to keep my mind active on those days I cannot get around and with winter coming the ability of those of us that find it hard to get around is deminished even further and require these types of activities to stop us from climing the walls.
I understand that these documents can be viewed in the reading room for free however as there is a body of water and about 1,000km between myself and the reading room I will be hard pressed to get there before closing time.
Lance, I agree - I have just had to pay over $70 for my Father & Uncles WW2 records - my Uncles record was only 9 pages long and I got charged $35 for it !!! Not happy
At least they have dropped the price from $150 which is would have cost before the price drop - out of reach of so many people
I would have a 10 hour drive to view the records for free so out of the question