Security - Border security passenger and air cargo security-11


Budget Review 2010-11 Index

Budget 2010–11: Security

Border security—passenger and air cargo security

Morag Donaldson

The Government will provide $199.2 million over five years to various government departments and law enforcement agencies to enhance Australia’s aviation security regime.[1] The 2010–11 Budget contains a number of measures aimed at improving passenger and air cargo security which respond to current threat assessments, aviation security policy (set out in the recent Aviation White Paper) and recommendations made by the National Security Adviser following the attempted terrorist attack in the United States on 25 December 2009.[2]  Some of the funded measures include:

  • new technologies for passenger and air cargo screening at international gateway airports (including an immediate increase in the number of passengers subjected to explosive trace detection; and the use of body scanners and multi-view x-ray machines)[3]
  • passenger and checked baggage screening at more regional airports
  • increased firearms and explosives detector dog (FEDD) capability at major international airports
  • increased community policing presence by the Australian Federal Police (AFP) at major airports
  • increased bilateral/multilateral engagement and cooperation in aviation security, and
  • enhanced passenger assessment and clearance, particularly aimed at detecting high-risk individuals seeking to travel to Australia (using risk profiling and data-sharing by ‘intelligence, border management and law enforcement agencies’).[4]

Provision has already been included in the forward estimates for:

  • continuing AFP aviation security commitments under the Unified Policing Model at Australia’s 11 major airports,[5] and
  • maintaining the Fraudulent Travel Document Detection System (FTDDS) which is used by Australian Customs and Border Protection officers at Australia’s international airports to verify the travel documents of international travellers.[6]

For details of other border protection measures funded in the Budget (including anti-people smuggling and immigration issues) see the ‘Border protection and detention’ section by Janet Phillips and Elibritt Karlsen in this Budget Review.


[1].    Australian Government, Budget measures: budget paper no. 2: 2010–11, Commonwealth of Australia, Canberra, 2010, p. 99.

[2].    Australian Government, Flight Path to the Future: National Aviation Policy White Paper, December 2009, viewed 12 May 2010, http://www.infrastructure.gov.au/aviation/nap/index.aspx

[3].    In the 2009–10 financial year, more than 900 000 travellers were processed using the ‘SmartGate’ option at Australia’s international airports.  SmartGate is a self-serve computer system which uses the data in an ePassport and face recognition technology to perform the customs and immigration checks that are usually conducted by a Customs and Border Protection officer.  See Australian Customs and Border Protection Service, SmartGate, Customs website, 2 December 2009, viewed 12 May 2010, http://www.customs.gov.au/site/page5552.asp

[4].    Australian Government, Budget measures: budget paper no. 2: 2010–11, op. cit, pp. 99–100, and K Rudd MP (Prime Minister), A Albanese MP (Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government) and B O’Connor MP (Minister for Home Affairs), Strengthening Aviation Security, media release, 9 February 2010, viewed 12 May 2010, http://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/search/display/display.w3p;query=Id%3A%22media%2Fpressrel%2F3XUV6%22 See also (for example) J Kerin and R Bolton, ‘Biometrics “promises faster aviation security”’, Australian Financial Review, 4 May 2010, p. 36, viewed 12 May 2010, http://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/search/display/display.w3p;query=Id%3A%22media%2Fpressclp%2F04LW6%22 and C Williams, ‘Tough task to achieve best balance in aviation security’, The Canberra Times, 15 February 2010, p. 9, viewed 12 May 2010, http://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/search/display/display.w3p;query=Id%3A%22media%2Fpressclp%2FU6WV6%22 .

[5].    The Unified Policing Model was developed by the AFP in response to key recommendations in the 2005 Wheeler Review of airport security and policing in Australia.  It ‘enables a comprehensive and coordinated approach to addressing criminality and terrorist threats in the aviation sector and provides a unified policing presence at the 11 major Australian airports’.  For further details, see AFP, Aviation, AFP website, no date, viewed 12 May 2010, http://www.afp.gov.au/policing/aviation.aspx

[6].    Australian Government, Budget measures: budget paper no. 2: 2010–11, op. cit., pp. 100 and 107.  Note that the Attorney-General’s Department has been separately funded in the forward estimates ($23.6 million over four years) to provide ‘national leadership on identity security policy’, including digital identity, cyber security, and document verification: ibid., p. 108.

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