Passport prices flying high thanks to 15 per cent hike

Australians will have to shell out nearly $400 for a new passport after another increase was announced in the mid-year budget update.

Along with routine annual indexation in line with the consumer price index, travellers will be hit with a 15 per cent increase to passport application on July 1.

Applying Septemberā€™s annual CPI rate of 5.4 per cent, it would see the price of an adult 10-year passport go from $325 to around $394 midway through next year.

In comparison, New Zealanders pay $192 for a decade-long passport, while Canadians pay about $179.

The government said the measure would raise $349 million across three years with the revenue redirected to other priorities in the Foreign Affairs and Trade portfolio.

Treasurer Jim Chalmers said the increase was ā€œrelatively modestā€ considering the extra security benefits the cash would bring.

ā€œThe funds from this one-off increase are all about making sure we can resource our passport systems and make them modern and fit for purpose, especially at a time where there are ongoing threats to peopleā€™s security and their identity,ā€ he told reporters in Canberra.

ā€œWhat is a relatively modest change to passport fees ā€¦ will mean the new cost of an ordinary Australian adult passport is still less than $40 a year over that 10-year period.ā€

The Foreign Affairs department said the extra fees would be used to modernise passport systems, pointing out Australian passport holders get visa-free access to more than 100 countries.

ā€œThis will ensure that Australia can stay ahead of the game in addressing rapidly evolving and more sophisticated threats to identity security,ā€ a department spokesperson told AAP.

ā€œThe Australian passport is respected internationally as a high-quality travel document ā€¦ it has a high level of technological sophistication, backed by rigorous anti-fraud measures, which ensures its integrity.ā€

Opposition tourism spokesperson Kevin Hogan said it was the second passport rise in a year, and added to a $10 rise in departure tax when leaving Australia and higher airfares.

ā€œTourism and trade are critical for our economy, employing thousands of Australians and particularly in regional and rural Australia,ā€ Mr Hogan said in a statement.

ā€œThis reinforces the fact that Labor doesnā€™t care about our regions, is increasing costs for consumers and damaging critical sectors in the economy.ā€


Alex Mitchell
(Australian Associated Press)


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