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Wednesday, 16 June 2010
Page: 5618

Mr McMULLAN (Parliamentary Secretary for International Development Assistance) (10:14 AM) —I do not want to pretend that I have a level of expertise I do not have, but it would be a brave person who said that anything is totally unforgeable. The technology of miscreants improves as rapidly as the technology of those trying to do the right thing. We are very proud and confident of the quality of our current passports, and we are investing $100 million over the next six years to improve them even further. We think the current passports are of a very high quality and most people agree with that, and internationally they are regarded as such. But we are not going to rest on our laurels. We are investing the money to deliver a new passport-issuing system that will enhance both the security and the efficiency of our expanding passport operations. We think they are very high-quality passports, probably as high quality as any in the world. It would just be beyond my level of confidence to say that nobody is going to be clever enough to work out a way to forge anything. Unfortunately the history of passports, the history of currencies and the history of other valuable documents suggest that it would be a brave person to say that forgery could never happen. But we do not think there are any passports better than the ones we are putting out.