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Sunday, April 01, 2007

National Access Card discussion on registration process

The National Access Card Consumer and Privacy Task Force, has issued a discussion paper on the registration process, seeks public submissions and plans a round of consultation meetings.

The process of registering over 16 million Australians, verifying their identity, taking a biometric photograph, and taking the details required for the register (and this is a shifting set of requirements), is daunting just to read about, let alone to contemplate what would be involved in the management and implementation of such a project between 2008 and 2010. As the paper indicates, once we're all clear on what the Government plans to do, the project will require the issue of 30,000 cards every workday over this 2 year period.

Then as the Task Force points out, there are lots of questions still to be answered and problems to be solved - who will pay for all the identity documents required to be produced to the government for registration purposes, how will the homeless and other disadvantaged groups respond, will prisoners have their photographs taken in jail, how will we deal with those who live in remote locations, or overseas, or for religious or cultural reasons have a problem with full facial photos? That's for starters.

The Director of a similar project in Austria was in Australia recently and was reported to have said that they had dispensed with the idea of including a photograph on the card there because it would have added 5 years to the time frame.

Submissions are invited by 16 April.

Any parties interested in attending any of the following public consultations on the Registration Process are asked to register via email to at least three working days prior.

Locations will be advised to registered participants nearer to the date.

Sydney 10.00am – 4.00pm Monday 2 April 2007
Brisbane 10.00am – 4.00pm Tuesday 3 April 2007
Hobart 11.30am – 2.30pm Tuesday 10 April 2007
Melbourne 9.00am – 3.00pm Wednesday 11 April 2007
Canberra 10.00am – 3.00pm Friday 13 April 2007
Adelaide 2.00pm – 4.30m Monday 16 April 2007
Perth 2.00pm – 4.30pm Tuesday 17April 2007
Darwin 2.30pm – 5.00pm Wednesday 18 April 2007

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