Federal

May 15, 2018

Broader force: airports become a dead zone for your basic human rights

Police will be given new parties to override civil liberties in airports, as the government wastes hundreds of millions on security theatre.

Bernard Keane — Politics editor

Bernard Keane

Politics editor

After allocating half a billion dollars -- without justification -- in national security spending in the budget, the government today ramped up its security theatrics with an unprecedented attack on basic civil rights. The Prime Minister and Immigration Minister Peter Dutton announced that federal police would be given the power to demand identification documents from anyone in an airport. 

"You don't have to, there's no law that requires you to but it's hard to think of anyone that wouldn't have some ID and wouldn't be able to say a bit about themselves," Turnbull said in justifying the new laws.

Free Trial

You've hit members-only content.

Sign up for a FREE 21-day trial to keep reading and get the best of Crikey straight to your inbox

By starting a free trial, you agree to accept Crikey’s terms and conditions

48 comments

Leave a comment

48 thoughts on “Broader force: airports become a dead zone for your basic human rights

  1. Moving to Paraguay

    Wow. There’s some great journalist meat on offer to find out who’s getting those contracts and what their relationship to the Liberal Party might be. Who’ll win the tray?

  2. klewso

    Spook the horses. Is that an election on the wind?

    1. Paul Guy

      And is Turnbull buying Dutton’s loyalty with $500 Million and extra powers? Of course there won’t be any racial profiling though. Wink, wink.

  3. old greybearded one

    “Ausweiss bitte” (Identity card please) the cry of the Gestapo in Nazi Germany. I have thought Dutton looks more like a hatchet faced disciple of Himmler everyday and apparently we are to have. Please I mean no disrespect to those who suffered under that regime, but this is how it begins and indeed how it began there, with small steps.

  4. kyle Hargraves

    “The Prime Minister and Immigration Minister Peter Dutton announced that federal police would be given the power to demand identification documents from anyone in an airport.”

    DFAT and ASIO have a fetish or, at the very least, an obsession as to security at ALL airports around Australia. It is also a very grave mistake to consider the obsession as abetted by the LCP. The same idiocy prevailed under Labur governments. There exists, in Australia, an Aviation Security Identification Card (ASIC) that is mandatory for anyone engaged in services germane to airports. There are three categories of card but the holder does not receive a card unless a “vetting” process has been performed on the applicant.

    A “Red” card is necessary for access to a grass strip in the middle of nowhere that might incur two landings per month. A red card (with privileges) is also necessary for any of the airports at a capital city. The obsession is with airports and not shopping centres. Acts of terrorism have occurred in cafes (of late) but not at airports. Interesting huh?

    Assuming that only Economy-class passengers will be confronted (and thier well-wishers) {terrorism tends to attract those from the lower orders} then, with regard to shopping centres, perhaps welfare recipients (including all pensioners) shall be compelled to display a symbol (yellow star? – na, that’s been used) so that the retailers can ascertain the latent risk to their businesses by the customers and ditto for the security staff pertaining to the shopping centre.

  5. Terry of Tuggeranong

    I hope someone is keeping a total of all this wasted cash – $100 million for a mausoleum in France; $400 million or so for Anzac centenary celebrations (more than all the other participants combined); $50 million for Captain Cook; another $500 million for the War Memorial – not mention ships and submarines and F35’s

    1. StrayMuttsInc

      Next thing you know we’ll be exporting military weapons.
      The price of keeping Dutton from challenging the leadership, hey?

    2. kyle Hargraves

      Leaving the defense budget to one side the money for icons does seem a but absurd. However consider the cost of the security fetish with airports.

      The security at (regional) airports stuff got underway circa 2004/5. A playwright of some talent would be required to describe the time, travel, per dems and god knows what else to conduct utterly idiotic and ineffective meetings about the place. Is, for example, Grafton (
      either location) ever likely to be a terrorist site? Yep, according to our betters.

      As for security staff training – bottles of wine were confiscated at Newman (WA) but “approved” at Brome. Despite the training – to say nothing of the cost – there was not a shred of consistency as to what passengers could take on board. The matter is rather more uniform now but it did take a decade but the most important question is : “to what purpose and could the cost be justified for satisfying a figment of one’s imagination. “?

      1. Richard

        Prescient?? God, I hope not!!

      2. Richard

        Scaring the people then offering protection .. on their terms.

  6. StrayMuttsInc

    Police demanding identification papers without cause, restraint, or restriction.
    Answerable to no one, with untrammelled authority and unchallenged power to detain.
    Now where in history have I heard that scenario before?

    1. BGas

      Quite. Godwin’s Law will actually come back to haunt us. As soon as you mention the “N” word, everyone turns off. Maybe we should go with Stasi….?

    2. BGas

      Quite. Godwin’s Law will actually come back to haunt us. As soon as you mention the “N” word, everyone turns off. Maybe we should go with Stasi….?

    3. BGas

      Quite. Godwin’s Law will actually come back to haunt us. As soon as you mention the “N” word, everyone turns off. Maybe we should go with Stasi….?

    4. BGas

      Quite. Godwin’s Law will actually come back to haunt us. As soon as you mention the “N” word, everyone turns off. Maybe we should go with Stasi….?

  7. Peter Schulz

    Hmmm. So it’s not the migrants and Muslims being ‘un-Australian’ and trashing our traditional values after all. It’s the so-called ‘conservatives’. What silly lefties don’t understand is that it is sometimes necessary to trash our values and way of life to protect our values and way of life.

  8. graybul

    “The Prime Minister and Immigration Minister Peter Dutton announced . . . . . the power to demand identification documents from anyone in the airport.”
    “You don’t have to, there’s no law . . . . Turnbull said in justifying the new laws,”
    Correct me if wrong . . . is the Prime Minister indirectly intimidating Australian citizens on Australian soil?

    Dutton and his Blackshirts rule all airport precincts. What, one imagines, will eventuate should a citizen reject demand for identification on apprehension by said Blackshirts? Are we being asked to believe that Dutton’s underlings will retreat with a smile; and just wave one through? Not bloody likely! Contrary to the Prime Minister’s deceitful throw-away; Dutton’s growing access to more and more totalitarian powers will be enforced.

    Australia is at a crossroads.

    1. graybul

      Dutton has many options open to him . . . not the least if uncooperative; simply exclude persons from precinct ie deny to fly.

  9. Colin Edwards

    Another gilded cloak for Emperor Dutton to hide his naked ambition?

  10. bushby jane

    Might be a good thing to be in Tasmania, there are no Federal Police at airports…. there again, this may be a way of gaining them as this govt considered that they cost too much previously.

Leave a comment

Share this article with a friend

Just fill out the fields below and we'll send your friend a link to this article along with a message from you.

Your details

Your friend's details

Sending...