Wednesday, 16 June 2021
Media release

Loophole for criminal gangs closes

The Morrison Government continues to take action to dismantle criminal gangs and make our communities safer.

The Transport Security Amendment (Serious Crime) Bill, which passed through the Parliament today, will strengthen identity card eligibility for those who work at airports, seaports and offshore facilities.

Minister for Home Affairs Karen Andrews welcomed the passage of the legislation.

“Having dragged their feet for many years, Labor has finally backed the safety and security of the Australian people to support this legislation,” Minister Andrews said.

“Serious and organised crime is a major threat to the Australian way of life. It causes enormous human suffering and is estimated to cost the Australian economy more than $47 billion annually.

“This Government won’t stand by while airports and seaports are used as transit points for organised criminals to import weapons, illicit drugs and other harmful goods into Australia.

“Our changes will reduce the ability of organised crime gangs to engage in illegal activities and in turn keep illegal drugs and guns off our streets and our communities safe.”

Without this legislation, people with serious criminal backgrounds could work in the most secure areas of our airports and seaports.

The Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission found in 2019 that 227 people who hold passes for unescorted access to secure areas at our airports and ports are on either the National Criminal Target List or the National Gangs list.

This legislation will establish a regulatory framework so that people convicted of serious offences or with known links to serious and organised crime groups, will be ineligible to hold an aviation and maritime security identification card (ASIC and MSIC).