The Australian passport – already the most expensive travel document in the world – will cost even more from January 1.
The Australian passport has started the New Year with the unenviable honour of again being the world’s most expensive after yet another price hike.
Starting New Year’s Day, the cost of a 10-year Australian passport for anyone aged 16 and over increased by $11 to $293 – the highest cost for a travel document anywhere in the world.
Australians who lose their passport while travelling will also have to shell out more with the cost of a replacement rising to $184.
The cost of an Australian passport has risen consistently in line with CPI inflation, doubling since 2002 and rising by more than 40 per cent since 2008, when it cost $200.
While countries like New Zealand and Canada have long treated passports as a ‘cost recovery exercise’, the Australian Government has consistently used it to raise revenue from Aussie travellers, just as it has done by increasing the cost of tobacco and alcohol to unprecedented levels.
The Australian Government uses passport price hikes to raise revenue.
According to the 2016/17 annual report from Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade (DFAT), more than 2.07 million passports were issued that year. Given they cost $272 at that time, the government pocketed more than $563 million from Aussie travellers.
DFAT insists that the cost of the Australian passport is a reflection of the cost of its production and the robust checks required to scan applicants.
But that logic is hard to swallow given the United States issues passports at half the cost. Admittedly, the US passport lacks many of the hi-tech features found in the Australian version.
The price comes as demand for Australian citizenship reaches never-before-seen levels. In August, the Australian Government revealed there were around 189,000 people waiting for their citizenship applications to be processed.
Nine in 10 applications are now taking almost a year and a half to be processed.
How Passport Costs Stack Up Worldwide
© 2019 Bernard O’Riordan (Travel Instinct). All Rights Reserved
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