The Australian, state and territory governments should replace their current maritime security identification cards (MSICs), aviation security identification cards (ASICs), and unsupervised handling licences with a single transport security card, the Australian Trucking Association recommended today.
The recommendation is part of the ATA’s submission to the Attorney-General’s Department on how to regulate eleven chemicals of security concern, like hydrogen peroxide and sodium azide. These chemicals have important everyday uses. For example, hydrogen peroxide is used in hair bleach; sodium azide is used in car airbags. They can also, however, be used to make homemade explosives.
The submission recommends that the requirements for security checks should be streamlined into a one-check process, with one identification card that covers ports, airports and state-level transport security requirements.
The ATA’s National Policy Manager, David Coonan, said applicants currently needed to apply for each card separately. He said the Australian and state governments did not recognise each other’s security checks, although ASIC holders did not need to be cleared again to apply for an MSIC.
“There should be a single card with a single security check, which would streamline the process, ensure that security standards are uniform and reduce costs for the industry,” Mr Coonan said.
“We have also recommended the security checks should focus on potential terrorist or criminal activity that is actually of concern, rather than irrelevant criminal offences in an applicant’s past.
“At present, the rules for MSICs and ASICs make it very difficult for people with a criminal history to deliver freight to a port or airport, even when they have done their time and changed their life. To get a card, they have to succeed in appealing to the federal infrastructure department, and then make a fresh appeal every time their card expires.”
Mr Coonan said the recommendations in the submission would help to ensure the security of all Australians, while also ensuring the industry remained able to move these chemicals efficiently and safely.
“The solution is not to stop using these chemicals, but rather to ensure there are systems in place that mean all sections of the supply chain are able to secure them. This includes the trucking industry that transports bulk chemicals, through to the couriers and taxi trucks who deliver them to legitimate end users,” Mr Coonan said.
The full submission is available at: www.truck.net.au/advocacy/submissions/chemicals-security-concern