The SmartGate automated entry system, deployed at Australian ports, will receive funding to deploy more terminals over the next two years.
SmartGate kiosks at Sydney International Airport. (Credit: Customs)
Minister for Home Affairs Jason Clare said over the weekend that an additional $7.9 million in funding will be poured into the SmartGate program.
Travellers will see 20 additional SmartGate self-service terminals deployed in Australian ports over 24 months. Sydney and Melbourne will be the first two airports to benefit from the additional SmartGate terminals, with others, like Brisbane and the Gold Coast, to follow.
Over 78 per cent of Australians have a SmartGate-compatible e-passport, but only 50 per cent of those are using it to enter the country at the moment. Clare said that by 2015, he hopes that 80 per cent of eligible users will have adopted the SmartGate technology.
"The expansion of this technology means that more and more Australians will be able to get through Customs by using their e-passport, instead of waiting in a queue to have it stamped by a Customs officer," Clare said in a statement.
The funding boost comes off the back of an announcement by Clare last week, in conjunction with Attorney-General Nicola Roxon , that will see travellers from the US able to use the SmartGate system for fast entry. Australians will also benefit from access to the Global Entry scheme.