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Aust customs inadequate control over domestic passengers travelling on international flights



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PAR LIAM EN T OF AUST RALIA ยท T H E S E N A T E

SENATOR DAVID MacGIBBON . SENATOR FOR QUEENSLAND

SHADOW MINISTER FOR CUSTOMS

MEDIA RELEASE

The Auditor-General's Report released last Thursday into Australia's Customs Service highlighted "inadequate control over domestic passengers travelling on international flights", said Senator David MacGibbon, Shadow Minister for Customs.

"If the Auditor-General found controls inadequate when he investigated Customs in January-February this year when very few domestic travellers flew on international carriers between Australian cities, the situation now during the airline strike

is very much worse", said Senator MacGibbon.

"There are no figures published but where as formerly access to international carriers was very strictly controlled, anyone can travel on them now during the strike.

"Customs procedures for screening passengers are specifically designed to cater for overseas passengers.

"Even though all overseas and domestic passengers travelling on an international airline within Australia are required to pass through a Customs check, those checks are not as effective against domestic travellers.

"To give one open example, domestic passengers do not have to show a passport when they pass through the primary Customs Barrier.

"Showing a passport is a simple procedure but a passport can provide Customs with a considerable amount of information - information which is denied to them in the present cir c urn stances.

"The Government must recognise, as the Auditor-General so clearly does, that there are opportunities for the exchange of prohibited and dutiable goods between overseas and domestic passengers on international aircraft within Australia", said

Senator MacGibbon.

COMMONWEALTH

PARLIAMENTARY LIBRARY MICAH

307 QUEEN STREET, BRISBANE, QUEENSLAND 4000 AUSTRALIA. PHONE (07) 225 2285, (07) 225 2441

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"Those opportunities are greatly increased at the present time when relatively large numbers are travelling on these flights.

"The Government had to allocate more financial resources so that Customs could maintain an effective Barrier Control against the importation of prohibited and dutiable goods, a capability which the Auditor-General has found to be in doubt not only at the present time, but as early as the start of this year . "

11 September 1989

For further informations (07) 225 2285