Budget 2010–11—Strengthening Australia's border security
Joint media release with Brendan O'Connor – Minister for Home Affairs
Tuesday, 11 May 2010
The Australian Government will invest $1.2 billion to bolster Australia's border security with a range of measures including eight new border patrol vessels and strengthened aviation security.
The measures underscore the Government's commitment to securing Australia's borders and airports, screening incoming passengers who may be a security risk, and boosting our engagement with our regional partners.
Protecting Australia's borders from threats of terrorism, people smuggling, organised crime, including the trafficking of illicit goods and illegal foreign fishing, is a top priority for investment by the Rudd Government.
The Australian Government is committed to ensuring that Australia's law enforcement and border agencies have the best possible capability to confidently respond to existing and emerging threats to our border security.
The measures include:
Border and Aviation Security
- $69.4 million over four years to introduce biometric checks of international passengers in overseas posts to strengthen Australia's capacity to verify the identity of foreign nationals
- $24.9 million for Stage 2, Enhanced Passenger Assessment and Clearance (EPAC) to ensure a larger number of passengers can be assessed faster and earlier and to ensure that travel histories can be collected for the purpose of identifying passengers who may pose security risks
- $11.4 million over four years for the Next Generation Border Security Initiative to allow the Department of Immigration and Citizenship to undertake advanced data analysis and risk profiling to more effectively identify visa applicants who may represent national security risks for referral to ASIO
- $9.2 million over four years to continue to support and maintain the Regional Movement Alert System (RMAS) which enables automatic verification of passports issued by each participating country
- $17.8 million additional funding over four years to increase the number of Australian Federal Police firearms and explosive detector dogs at major international airports
- $759.4 million will be provided over four years for continued policing at Australian airports as part of the Government's commitment to strengthened aviation security
- $12.3 million additional funding for one year in 2010–11 for the Australian Federal Police presence at 11 major airports, in line with the Beale review's recommendations on airport policing to deliver more responsive and better coordinated policing at these vital gateways.
- A major investment in the purchase of eight new patrol vessels with improved surveillance and response capability and greater range, to replace the current ageing Bay Class vessels. The Government will also provide additional funding of around $42.6 million over four years to meet project implementation and enhanced operating costs
- $163.2 million over four years to continue initiatives to combat illegal foreign fishing
- $32.9 million over four years for investment in work with Indonesia to better manage the issue of people smuggling within Indonesia and the region
- $15.7 million over two years to ensure the continued presence of a dedicated vessel at Ashmore Reef
- $800 000 additional funding over two years to the Commonwealth Ombudsman to ensure the fairness of detention and immigration processes on Christmas Island.
The new Customs patrol vessels will be able to travel further than the existing craft and the capacity to conduct operations in all parts of Australia's waters. The first vessel is expected to come on line in 2012–13 with the full new fleet being operational by 2015–16.
Additional funding for the management of irregular migration in Indonesia will help improve conditions and security in immigration detention centres and enable the UNHCR to provide faster refugee status determinations. A network of outreach offices will be funded to help Indonesian authorities better manage irregular migration flows and people smuggling activities.
The measure recognises the pressures on Indonesia as a transit country for people seeking to enter Australia without a valid visa or seeking asylum.
The collection of biometric data will substantially improve verification of the identity of foreign nationals seeking to enter Australia by obtaining fingerprints and facial images from visa applications in 10 overseas posts.
The measures announced in the 2010 Budget build on the $654 million border protection and anti people smuggling package in the 2009 Budget.
Last update: 11 May 2010 at 19:36 AEST