Home / Top News / Police will be able to ask anyone at an airport for ID under new laws

Police will be able to ask anyone at an airport for ID under new laws

Updated

May 15, 2018 13:36:09

The Federal Government wants to give police the power to carry out identity checks without cause at the nation’s airports, with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull citing the “dangerous times” facing the nation as justification.

Mr Turnbull and Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton will unveil plans to roll out new legislation today, along with an already announced $294 million package to boost security at domestic airports and introduce new measures in regional centres.

The Prime Minister said anyone travelling through the nation’s airports could be subject to the new powers.

“The justification for changing the law so that police at an airport can ask you to identify yourself, the justification is the safety of the Australian people,” Mr Turnbull told reporters at Melbourne Airport.

Under current laws, police can only ask for proof of identity if they suspect a person has or will commit a serious offence.

“There’s certain conditions that need to be met at the moment before police can ask for that identification, which is an absurdity, and it is an issue the police have raised with us,” Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton argued.

“We’re addressing an anomaly and a deficiency in the law at the moment.”

The Greens have slammed the proposal, claiming it is further evidence of Mr Dutton grabbing more power under his new portfolio.

“Demanding people produce documents on the spot is a hallmark of police states,” Greens senator Nick McKim said in a statement.

“This is the slow march of authoritarianism.”

Body scanners are coming to domestic airports

There will still be no need for passengers to produce identification when checking in to domestic flights.

As previously announced, new body scanners, similar to those used in international airports, would also be rolled out at domestic and large regional airports — despite privacy concerns.

The Government hopes 94 per cent of passengers would go through those scanners.

“Everyone wants to get through all of these security checks swiftly, but they also want to get through safely,” Mr Turnbull said.

“Using the latest technology enables you to achieve both.”

Regional airports will receive increased screening under the plan, including those at Armidale in New South Wales, Port Lincoln in South Australia and Monkey Mia in Western Australia.

There will also be extra screening of domestic and international baggage at airports.

Topics:

government-and-politics,

security-intelligence,

defence-and-national-security,

australia

First posted

May 15, 2018 10:05:50

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