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  • Writer's pictureFlow Australia

More travelling Australians reach out for consular help

Calls for consular assistance with thefts, arrests, illness and crisis have risen among travellers amid a surge in the number of Australians holding a passport.

More than 9000 consular cases were dealt with by Australian officials, recording a massive increase from the previous year.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade provided help to more than 9200 cases of consular assistance and crisis support in the 2022/23 financial year, representing a 17 per cent hike.

Theft reports, arrest and detention, whereabouts of travellers and illnesses cases recorded the largest rises.

The Consular Emergency Centre responded to more than 48,000 calls, or one call every 11 minutes.

Consular assistance was given in 808 crisis cases in Sudan, Turkey/Syria and Ukraine.

The number of Australians reaching out for help after being the victim of theft soared 241 per cent on the previous year, with 157 cases.

The top five countries where people found themselves in strife were Thailand (778 cases) the Philippines (610), Indonesia (512), the US (451) and Vietnam (330).

More than three million passports were issued, a 110 per cent increase compared to the previous financial year, with 53 per cent of Australians holding a current passport.

Assistant Foreign Affairs Minister Tim Watts thanked staff at his department for their hard work in helping Australians in sticky situations overseas.

"What the public doesn't often see though is the thousands of hours of work from Australian consular officials around the world that helps make these happy outcomes a reality," he said.

"In crisis situations - natural disasters, terrorist attacks, armed conflicts - Australian consular staff often work long hours, in round-the-clock shifts, in complex, high pressure situations."


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