People acting suspiciously in Australian airports will be required to show identification to police, under new laws under a new airport security crackdown.
Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton introduced the new ID checking laws into federal Parliament on Wednesday, that would give Australian Federal Police officers the power to require people to leave the airport or ban them from flying for 24 hours if they did not comply.
Mr Dutton said current laws did not go far enough.
“Police at our airports are highly trained in behavioural analysis and threat assessments,” Mr Dutton said.
“However, they don’t currently have the power to check ID unless they can link to a specific offence.”
Under the laws, a suspicious activity could include taking photos or videos of security check areas.
The laws would also give police the ability to remove bikie gang members from airports for two hours if an incoming flight was carrying rival gang members.
Police would need to identify themselves as officers before conducting checks.
Mr Dutton said the legislation would ensure that Australia had one of the safest aviation networks in the world, with people failing to comply with checks could result in a fine of up to $4200.
“Australia is at risk,” he said.
“This was most clearly illustrated last July, when catastrophic consequences were avoided through the disruption of a terrorist plot targeting a passenger plan in Sydney.”
“Airports can be a focal point for illicit drug trafficking and gang-related activity which provide pathways for serious and organised crime groups to expand their operations.”
Officers will be able to use the powers at major airports including Sydney, Sydney West, Melbourne Tullamarine, Brisbane, Perth, Gold Coast, Hobart, Launceston, Alice Springs, Canberra, Darwin and Townsville.