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Wednesday, 14 August 1974
Page: 872

Senator POYSER (VICTORIA) -Will the Minister for Customs and Excise inform the Senate of the significance of the new equipment being used by Customs officers at Kingsford-Smith Airport, Sydney while interviewing passengers returning from overseas? Will he indicate whether the equipment is related to the processing of information by computer and, if so, whether this new process is likely to cause additional delays?

Senator MURPHY (NEW SOUTH WALES) (Attorney-General) - The new equipment is part of a computer complex, being visual display units connected with the computer in Canberra. It is part of a processing system known as 'Passenger Automatic Selection System'. The system assists in the selection and identification of passengers for baggage examination on the basis of certain high risk factors. It has been useful in connection with the smuggling of drugs. Only very recently a fairly large amount of heroin was discovered concealed upon a person through the use of this ancillary mechanism, and a great deal of other drugs have been found. The system does not cause any delay. In fact, it assists in the rapid clearance of passengers because it is helpful in selecting those who might be considered to be candidates for examination and therefore allows others to go through with much greater speed.

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