Advanced technology brings mandatory full-body scans to Australia

Using advanced technology that makes passengers appear as stick figures, mandatory full-body scans are being rolled out at all of Australia’s major airports. Successful trials at Sydney and Melbourne airports last year signal the end of a loophole in legislation that had allowed passengers to request a pat-down instead of having to pass through a metal detector.

“I think the public understands that we live in a world where there are threats to our security and experience shows they want the peace of mind that comes with knowing government is doing all it can,” said Transport Minister Anthony Albanese in the Australian.

The new scanners, part of a $28 million overhaul, tested successfully year on more than 23,000 passengers in trials from August 2-19 in Sydney and September 5-30 in Melbourne.

The Australian government is touting the technology as the most advanced available, with the equipment able to detect metallic and non-metallic items beneath clothing with few radio waves emitted.
Made by L-3 Communications, the same company used in the United States to supply the scanners, the unisex images are discarded after each passenger has been cleared, satisfying privacy concerns.

The proposed Aviation Security Amendment (Screening) Bill 2012 will make it mandatory for any passenger selected, except those with serious medical conditions, to participate in a body scan and will be rolled out at a total of eight international gateway airports including Adelaide, Brisbane, Cairns and Gold Coast Perth.

Flickr photo by DWissman

Australia rail travel a bargain for backpackers

Queensland Rail Travel (QR) provides Urban and Interurban rail and bus services throughout South East Queensland in Australia. Looking to deliver a greater number of international tourists to the state’s regional tourism hotspots, QR is offering special savings for overseas backpackers who want to travel between multiple locations

“Backpackers travel to several different locations up the east coast and this new offer gives them the flexibility of being able to move from point-to-point in a quick and convenient way,” Queensland Rail Travel general manager, Max Kruse said.

International visitors who have a valid hostel or backpacker card can save up to 40 per cent off the normal rail travel fare for point-to-point journeys on Queensland Rail Travel’s long distance services.

“Queensland Rail Travel’s network provides the gateway to all the tourism hotspots including the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Fraser Coast, the Whitsundays, Townsville and Cairns,” said Kruse.

Rail travel passes are also available for backpackers who want to travel between Cairns, Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne allowing travelers the flexibility to hop on and off east coast trains over a six-month period.

With five World Heritage-listed sites and other extraordinary places in between, Queensland has lot to offer. Traveling in comfort onboard QR’s traditional and modern trains can make rail travel all the better.

Queensland Rail Photo