Revised Explanatory Memorandum(Circulated by authority of the Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Hon Julie Bishop MP)
The purpose of the Passports Legislation Amendment (Integrity) Bill 2015 (the Bill) is to refine and clarify the passports legislation and to strengthen the Government's ability to respond to fraudulent activity in relation to Australian travel documents.
The principal amendments of the Bill are to:
- provide for the issue of a travel-related document on the Minister's own initiative to facilitate a lawful requirement for a person to travel;
- align the definition of 'parental responsibility' more closely to that in the Family Law Act 1975 to provide more certainty as to who is required to consent to a child passport;
- provide that the Minister may refuse to process a passport application if there are reasonable grounds to suspect fraud or dishonesty in the application (this does not prevent the person being issued a passport should they submit a fresh application with the correct information and where all eligibility requirements are met); and
- amend existing offences and add an offence to strengthen the Government's ability to respond to the fraudulent use of Australian travel documents, whether genuine or false.
Financial impact statement
Passage of this legislation will not result in any additional cost to applicants or to the Commonwealth.