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Britt Lapthorne Bill 2009

Part 3 Provision of information and assistance to the families of missing persons


9   All reasonable assistance to be offered

             (1)  The Minister, through the department, its agencies and its missions overseas, must offer all reasonable assistance to the next of kin of any Australian national travelling overseas who is believed to be missing.

             (2)  Without limiting the measures that may be taken, the assistance referred to in subsection (1) includes:

                     (a)  making representations to foreign governments on behalf of the person’s next of kin;

                     (b)  liaising with foreign authorities;

                     (c)  translation of documents.

             (3)  Decisions concerning what assistance is reasonable in any particular case must be made by a senior officer of the department authorised by the Minister.

             (4)  The department must develop guidelines subject to the Privacy Commissioner’s approval to assist with the application of this section, including guidance on ascertaining the status of a person as the “next of kin” of an Australian national travelling overseas.