The Australian Law Reform Commission Discussion Paper on Privacy released in September last year had little to say about this issue (in the section dealing with "Generally available publications" 8.29) probably because the Federal Government has relatively few public registers. Most such registers in Australia fall within state/territory and local government responsibility. In New Zealand with two tiers of government things are a bit different.
In NSW and perhaps in other states as well, there is still a lot of messiness about what constitutes a public register, and the appropriateness of publication on the web. Presumably an issue for consideration by the NSW Law Reform Commission which has been looking at privacy since April 2006. I'm sure they are busy down there, but in a letter in May 2006 the Commission said it was:
"planning to publish a consultation paper by December 2006. In this paper, the Commission will set out details of the scope of existing privacy laws in NSW, and seek to identify any problems or shortcomings with the current law".We're still waiting but the Commission has a leg up on the range of issues concerning public registers outlined by the NZ Law Commission
Thanks to PogoWasRight for the lead.