The Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Peter Dutton today announced that the highly successful Customs Watch programme would be re-branded as Border Watch under the new Australian Border Force.
The Customs Brokers and Forwarders Council of Australia (CBFCA) attended the launch with other industry partners to hear the Minister reiterate the positive involvement of industry in protecting Australia’s borders.
Tip-offs from industry helped stem the flow of drugs, weapons and other prohibited goods into Australia through 2014-15. Twenty percent of calls to the former Customs and Border Protection Service produced positive results of more than 200 kilograms of drugs and pre-cursors being seized and kept off the streets.
He highlighted the vital role that Border Watch plays in detecting illicit goods during a visit to the Australian Border Force (ABF) Container Examination Facility in Sydney.
“The Border Watch programme is a proven method in stemming the flow of prohibited goods across the border,” Mr Dutton said.”Australia has one of the largest and most challenging border environments in the world, which is why programmes like this are so important. Information provided by industry partners could be the missing link that leads to another successful Australian Border Force operation.I encourage those who see or hear of suspicious border activities to report it by calling the 1800 06 1800 hotline or the online form at www.border.gov.au/borderwatch”
The CBFCA spoke with the Minister who is looking forward to presenting the Keynote Address at this year’s National Conference being held in Sydney in October.