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New Townsville Customs office to boost border protection.

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Minister for Justice and Customs Senator for Western Australia

E47/04 21 April 2004

New Townsville Customs office to boost border protection

The role of Customs in Queensland received a further boost today with the opening of a new Customs House in Townsville by the Minister for Justice and Customs, Senator Chris Ellison.

Senator Ellison said the custom-designed office was yet another example of the Australian Government’s commitment to border security in Queensland and would enable Customs officers to access the latest technology.

“In the last year, the Government has funded the opening of a new container x-ray facility in the Port of Brisbane, an upgrade to shared Customs and Quarantine areas at Cairns International Airport, new Customs Houses in Mackay and Gladstone and from today a new home for Customs in Townsville,” he said.

“These facilities, along with increased Customs waterfront patrols and vessel boardings, are providing a first-rate level of border protection along the entire Queensland coast.”

The Townsville office has been purpose-designed to provide the best support for Customs officers who are protecting Australia’s border from drugs, disease and other threats to safety and security in a region stretching from Tully Heads in the north to Bowen in the south.

It delivers access to state-of-the-art technology including the Customs waterfront closed-circuit television network.

“This network improves surveillance of first-port arrivals by allowing the monitoring of regional ports in Townsville and Abbott Point around the clock in conjunction with the National Monitoring Centre in Melbourne,” Senator Ellison said.

“The Government is determined to meet the challenges of maintaining border protection in an area with such a diversity of international passenger, vessel and goods movements and the opening of this new facility at Townsville will greatly support this determination,” Senator Ellison said.

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