Telecine is a bad idea these days anyhow... It sounds like they have old equipment that records to a stream only so it must go to tape or an external video capture card/computer.
I'm not sure what other options are available in Australia. But, film scanners are the way-to-go these days. If you want the full information and full dynamic range you need something like the Arriscan or Director that uses a monochrome area sensor and red/green/blue LEDs to capture 3 separate images of each frame... The Arriscan and Director will even do 6 total flashes at 2 different exposures. (The Arriscan also has an IR option for dust/scratch removal). It slows the whole process down, but gives you good results. Telecine CAN capture a decent image but it will technically never be as good as a full frame-by-frame capture AND HDR. I've heard that the Scanity is a telecine/datacine that is just as good or better than an Arriscan. But, Cinelicious in LA is the only company that I know who has one.
Telecine (which uses a line sensor) also has a very hard time dealing with any film imperfections. If the film is warped, cracked, has bad splices or bad registration (jitter) it can confuse the telecine with odd results.
All that sad, in the states... telecine is usually a good solution especially if you just want to know what's on the film and to decide what footage you want scanned on a more expensive scanner. It's faster and cheaper than scanning (usually) and does a decent job. Once you narrow down (or edit your negatives) you can have it re-scanned on a scanner with all the bells and whistles for a full DI and/or archival scan.
For the price you are talking about, you should be able to find a good scanner like the Arriscan or Director. That definitely sounds excessively expensive.