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Mixed day for travellers during customs strike

written by australianaviation.com.au | November 9, 2015

A customs and border protection smart gate.

It has been a mixed day for travellers at Australia’s international airports, who have been forced to deal with a 24-hour strike from Australian Border Force (ABF) staff as part of a pay dispute with the government.

About 5,000 ABF staff stayed away from work on Monday, affecting operations at eight international airports.

Reports from Melbourne Tullamarine and Sydney Kingsford Smith suggested ABF staff flown in to fill the gap had kept queues manageable.

However, reports from Brisbane, Gold Coast and suggested there were long queues during the morning, which is a peak time for many international arrivals.

The 24-hour strike is the latest move from the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) as part of a year-long negotiation with the government over a new enterprise bargaining agreement.


Under the relevant legislation, the union has to give the government at least 11 days notice if it intends to take protected (legal) industrial action and stop work.

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Comments (2)

  • Chris


    I flew into BNE yesterday and it wasn’t too bad. Yes the lines were longer then normal but from walking off the aircraft to getting to the car took 1 hour. About the same as LAX and a fell of a lot better then Heathrow. Personally, I think the strike action didn’t cause enough problems. Better luck next time unions.

  • Richard


    Having just returned from the USA the most security minded country, I was suprised to find that on departing you don’t have to go through immigration. the rational being that airlines check your passport when you check in. So why do we have to go through immigration when we leave Australia? This would free up more staff to handle incoming passengers

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