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The CMR saga continues...

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Shadow Minister for Justice and Customs Manager of Opposition Business in the Senate Labor Senator for Queensland 20 October 2005


Shadow Minister for Customs Joe Ludwig today said Minister Ellison was in a state of denial over the problems associated with the transition to the new Integrated Cargo System.

ICS is the new automated system by which importers log and process goods through Customs. The new system began operation just a week ago but it has so far left Customs brokers and industry frustrated by delays and unnecessary red tape.

Late yesterday, Customs admitted the imports component of the system has “experienced difficulties during implementation.”

“The Minister’s response to this is to meet with industry yet again,” Senator Ludwig said.

“This is the second crisis meeting that has been held with stakeholders in three days. The Minister needs to stop listening and start acting on industry’s advice to avert further problems at our ports.

“In clearing this mess created the Minister must give a guarantee that no corners will be cut on quarantine or security.

“This is a disaster and Customs and the Minister knew that the system wasn’t ready but they still went ahead with the October 12 deadline.

“And right now this incompetent Minister and arrogant Government is failing to act and continuing to ignore pleas for help from industry.

“Why has the Minister left Australian industry unprepared to use what Customs itself describes as one of the largest e-government projects ever undertaken in Australia?”

For further information contact: Joe Ludwig 0418 887 525 or Carly Hefford 0439 030 982