Airport worker breach highlights risks

Release date: 4/05/2011

Questions have been raised about the adequacy of airport security amid union claims a foreign national working illegally on a student visa was able to access secure areas at Canberra Airport.

Steve Creedy, The Australian

The Transport Workers Union said the student was one of six members of a team of seven contract cleaners given access to the airport late last year with visitors’ cards instead of the Australian Security Identification Cards.

A TWU spokesman said the worker’s lack of a work visa was only uncovered after he acted suspiciously and police were called.

"This was someone who was acting suspiciously in strategically our most important airport in the country," the spokesman said.

The TWU called for an upgrade in airport security, including the screening of every member of staff who goes into secure areas.

The Transport Department requires people who work airside on a regular or permanent basis to be checked by ASIO, law enforcement agencies and, where necessary, the Immigration Department.

But the union has been waging a long campaign over what it sees as a loophole allowing contract workers to access secure areas with temporary passes.

 Click here to read the story on The Australian website

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