Imagine arriving at an Australian airport and being "whisked through Customs" without having to show your passport, not have to fill out those asinine inbound passenger cards. No queueing or exchanges with a surly Customs officer, simply being waved through with biometric data using facial recognition, iris and fingerprint technology. Marvellous, huh?

"This will make it easier, it will make it quicker, for people going in and out of our airports," Immigration minister Peter Dutton told one of several media outlets that happily gave the government the headlines and TV coverage it wanted yesterday. The taxpayer-funded defence industry spruikers at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute waxed lyrical about the proposal in one piece, enthusing that "it could be a world first." Dutton wants 90% of passengers being processed using facial, iris or fingerprint recognition systems.