Australia Post will lose its exclusive agency right to provide face-to-face ‘application lodgement services’ on behalf of the Australian Passport Office at the end of June 2017.
And although a new online passport applications system will still require applicants to make an in-person appearance to have their identity verified, one possible option being mooted is for this to be undertaken by a network of authorised travel agents.
National Secretary Greg Rayner said the move could lead to increased security fraud.
“Australia Post has been a trusted provider of passport processing for a long time and has developed rigorous processes to guard against identity fraud,” Mr Rayner said.
“This is not an area of government administration you would want to be cutting costs in by tendering to the cheapest bidder – you need qualified people within an organisation experienced to guarantee security of information. Australia Post has both, where others have neither.
“We are deeply concerned this will lead to increased identity theft and security fraud.”
Mr Rayner said communities across the nation valued being able to access a local Post Office to have their passport application processed.
“Most Australians who have travelled overseas have used Australia Post’s passport processing service and they trust this means their identity is in safe hands.
“Outsourcing this process to private providers is a reckless idea and we will be lobbying all political parties to commit to keeping the community’s passport information safe and secure with Australia Post.”