The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) have launched a 3-year Consular Strategy to provide the 9 million Australians travelling overseas efficient and cost-effective consular services support.
Foreign Affairs Minister, The Hon. Julie Bishop MP said the Strategy “builds upon the strong work already undertaken by the department” and provides a clear “road map” to assist more effectively to travellers in crisis.
The 3-year Strategy highlights the department’s investment to helping Australians overseas who find themselves in serious difficulties overseas.
“The Strategy is an important milestone in keeping the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade at the forefront of international standards in the delivery of consular services and assistance. It sets the department’s consular priorities firmly in the context of the Government’s vision of how best to assist Australians to plan and prepare for their safety when they travel, and to take responsibility for their welfare when traveling,” Bishop said.
According to DFAT, the department assists some 1300 Australians every day with the Strategy aimed to improve customer education around consular services, and the importance of purchasing travel insurance before departing overseas.
“AFTA welcomes the 3-year Consular Strategy. It is important for Australian’s travelling overseas to have clarity around the services available to them. In the past decade we have seen the number of Australian’s travelling overseas more than double and Consular services is vital to the travel industry and an important resource for the travel agent,” AFTA chief executive, Jayson Westbury said.