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AIR CARGO SECURITY STRENGTHENED

011TRS/Budget 9 May 2006

The Australian Government, in partnership with industry, will implement new measures to further strengthen the security of domestic and international air cargo through a $48 million package of initiatives.

This funding comes on top of the $38 million package of air cargo measures announced by the Prime Minister in September last year.

In a joint announcement following the Treasurer's Budget speech, the Minister for Transport and Regional Services, Warren Truss and the Minister for Justice and Customs, Senator Chris Ellison, said that the funding would be allocated to the Department of Transport and Regional Services, and Customs.

The Department of Transport and Regional Services will receive $13 million to expand the deployment of explosives trace-detection equipment for the examination of domestic air cargo at each of Australia's major airports; improve the quality of security training for cargo handlers; and partner with Customs and industry to undertake a number of trials to test a variety of existing and emerging explosives-detection technologies.

"The additional funding provided in the Budget to improve the safety and security of aircraft and airline passengers is testimony to the Government's strong commitment to counter any potential threats to the aviation sector," Mr Truss said.

Customs will receive $35 million to implement measures to significantly increase the volume of air cargo subject to security screening.

"These new measures will enhance Customs capability to identify, inspect and respond to high-risk export air cargo. This will be achieved through the deployment of additional explosives detector-dog teams; the provision of additional mobile X-ray vans, and, in collaboration with industry, trial and evaluate communications technology to achieve real-time air cargo reporting," said Customs Minister Chris Ellison.

Media contacts:
Mr Truss' office - Kylie Butler 02 6277 7680 / 0417 652 488
Senator Ellison's office - Duncan Bremner 02 6277 7260 / 0409 003 084