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Wednesday, 8 May 1985
Page: 1592

(Question No. 126)

Senator Reynolds asked the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs, upon notice, on 26 March 1985:

Do many Australians encounter quite considerable difficulty, and expense, when endeavouring to renew Australian passports while travelling overseas because Australian passports are only renewable by physically presenting oneself at an Australian Embassy or Consulate; if so, is there any way that the procedure for the renewal of passports can be streamlined to minimise such inconvenience and expense.

Senator Gareth Evans —The Minister for Foreign Affairs has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

Australian passports are issued for a maximum of five years, and after that period of validity the holder applies for a new passport. My Department has received very few reports of difficulties and expense encountered by Australians travelling overseas as a consequence of the requirement since 1 July 1984 that applicants for Australian passports should attend an Australian Embassy or Consulate for a personal interview. This is not surprising as authorised officers have the discretion to waive the requirement for personal attendance when an applicant for a replacement passport has an urgent need to travel and the applicant's bona fides are not in doubt. A passport issued in these circumstances is made valid only for a period sufficient to enable the applicant to attend for a personal interview at any Australian post overseas or a Passports Office on return to Australia.