The Turnbull Government’s has unveiled its plans to roll out new legislation, along with a $294 million package to boost security at Australia’s airports.
New police powers will allow officers to ask any traveller for proof of identity.
Under current laws, police can only ask for proof of identity if they suspect a person has or will commit a serious offence.
The ABC reported that Mr Turnbull fought of criticism of the controversial move at Melbourne Airport.
“The justification for changing the law so that police at an airport can ask you to identify yourself, the justification is the safety of the Australian people,” Mr Turnbull told reporters at Melbourne Airport.
“Demanding people produce documents on the spot is a hallmark of police states,” Greens senator Nick McKim said in a statement.
We took to the streets to hear what you thought about the change.
“I think it’s a complete overreach. It undermines the entire justice system and will inevitably make racial profiling part of policing.” – Fiona, 50, primary school principal
“We live in some scary times. I think it’s necessary and not that big of a sacrifice to protect everyone.” – Josh, 28, chef
“If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear. I think that pretty much sums it up.” – Carol, 46, office manager
“I think this will only further marginalise the people who will fall victim to racial profiling. It’s also just part of this trend of our information and privacy being eroded by the government and by big business.” Sam, 26, doctor