The Government of Australia has allocated a A$293.6m ($219.1m) fund in its 2018-19 annual budget that will be used to modernise airport security amid evolving terrorist, national security and criminal threats.
Over the next four years, the government will use the fund to improve security at airports, international mail centres and air cargo facilities.
Modern screening technology for passengers, baggage and cargo will be installed at airports while financial assistance will be granted to regional airports for upgrading security systems.
Australia Minister for Home Affairs Peter Dutton said that the planned terrorist attacks disrupted in Sydney in July last year represented a significant change in the national security environment.
Dutton further added: “I will introduce new laws to complement these measures providing the AFP broader powers to conduct identity checks at airports and to order a person to ‘move on’ from airport premises where needed.”
Under the new security measures, body scanners and advanced X-ray equipment will be installed at major and regional Australian airports.
More than 140 additional AFP counter terrorist first response officers will be deployed at airports in addition to another 50 officers that will provide tactical intelligence and other support.
Additionally, inbound air cargo and international mail screening technology will be upgraded and A$50.1m ($37.3m) will be given to regional airports to upgrade their security.
As part of Australia’s border security network, the 2018-19 budget also provides A$6.9m ($5.1m) over two years to continue the work of Australian Border Force Airline Liaison Officers (ALOs) at 19 important international airports.
A further A$59.1m ($44.01m) will be allocated towards the Commonwealth and States joint build of the National Criminal Intelligence System (NCIS), which will offer frontline information and intelligence to police to combat crime and disrupt the threat of terrorism.
Nearly A$68.6m ($51m) will be offered to establish the Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE) to safeguard children from abuse.