Output 2 - Facilitation of the legitimate movement of people across the border, while identifying illegal movements
Planning for the future
Review of aviation security
Customs is one of several government agencies participating in a review being conducted by the Rt Hon Sir John Wheeler JP, DL. The review will examine the threat from serious and organised crime at airports, the integration of ground-based security and law enforcement arrangements and the adequacy of the existing security measures.
The arrival of the A380 aircraft
Qantas and other airlines intend to introduce the Airbus A380 aircraft. On the Australian route, the aircraft will have a capacity of over 500 and will increase the volume of passengers arriving at the entry control point at one time. The first A380 flights into Australia are expected in the second half of 2006. Customs is increasing staffing levels at airports in the lead up to A380 arrivals as a short-term response. Longer-term solutions such as automated border-processing technology will be needed to maintain processing standards.
Customs has established new arrangements with the Government to enable funding to be varied to take into account changes in the volume of passengers being processed and the proportion of passengers being processed through the automated border-processing technology. This was a key outcome of the Financial Health Review undertaken by Ernst and Young.
Objectives for 2005–06
- develop the use of biometrics for an automated border processing system to deal with larger passenger numbers
- develop a whole-of-government strategy for the delivery of government regulatory services that support increasing passenger numbers and the introduction of new large aircraft
- increase air border security capability and capacity
- implement business change for passenger enforcement operations to support the introduction of the enhanced passenger assessment tools
- introduce legislation to improve the sanction regime in the passenger environment
- implement any government decisions arising from the reviews of aviation and maritime security.
Customs teams – Customs prepares for Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games
A major challenge for Customs officers in Victoria over the next 12 months will be preparing for the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games. Approximately 40 000 international visitors, including 10 000 Games Family Members, are expected for the Games which will be held from 15 to 26 March 2006.
Customs primary roles will be to smoothly process passenger and cargo associated with the Games, to police Games-related intellectual property rights and to maintain border security.
Customs has planned for the event over several years and will apply the lessons learned from its experience with the Sydney Olympics in 2000. Preparations include training of staff across Australia as well as deployment of additional staff in Melbourne during the Games, significantly increasing closed circuit television and trace detection capabilities at international airports, enhancing digital signage and streamlining imports and exports processes for competitors.
Customs will continue to work closely with the M2006 Organising Committee and its agents, airport operators, Victoria Police, Australian Federal Police and other agencies to support the success of the Games.