This does not surprise me in the slightest. I'm just glad that we have finally been able to lodge our 309. It seems very obvious that DIAC uses a number of tactics to hamper applications. These steep hidden price rises are an example, as are the practice of "drowning" applicants in paperwork, including the form changes 3 times a year. They actively do all they can to dissuade people from applying....
Personally I'm completely appalled. As my Fiance says however, "you guys keep putting up with it, so nothing changes"... So true.