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$4.7 million boost for security cards in aviation and maritime industries

Minister for Transport and Regional Services - Warren Truss
016TRS/Budget 9 May 2006

The Australian Government Minister for Transport and Regional Services, Warren Truss, today announced new measures to further tighten security at Australia's airports and ports, providing additional Australian Government expenditure of $4.7 million over four years.

Mr Truss said the initiatives include $2.9 million for the establishment of a regime to audit the activities of Aviation Security Identification Card (ASIC) and Maritime Security Identification Card (MSIC) issuing bodies.

"This will ensure that people have been appropriately background checked if they have a genuine need to access the secure areas of our air and seaports.

"A further $1.8 million has been provided to enable the Department of Transport and Regional Services to undertake the assessment of ASIC and MSIC applicants' criminal history certificates for the period 1 July 2006 to 30 June 2007 when responsibility will move to the newly-created AusCheck in the Attorney-General's Department," Mr Truss said.

"The centralisation of the assessment process in my Department, in the lead up to the establishment of the Government centralised vetting agency Auscheck on 1 July 2007, will ensure ongoing consistency in decision making.

"This initiative builds on the further tightening of background checking and processing arrangements for the issue of an ASIC announced in September 2005 and demonstrates the Australian Government's commitment to strengthening our aviation and maritime security arrangements," he said.

Media contacts:
Mr Truss' office - Kylie Butler 02 6277 7680 / 0417 652 488