Businesses, Agents and Trade Professionals

2017 Industry Summit Communique

31 July 2017, Melbourne, Australia

This year’s Industry Summit (Summit), opened by The Hon Peter Dutton MP, Minister for Immigration and Border Protection (the Minister), brought together around 250 government and industry leaders from trade, travel and migration sectors, peak bodies and government. The theme of the Summit was ‘Border Innovation: strengthening our nation’s economy, security and society’.

The Summit discussions focused on how government and industry can work together to support the vision of Australia’s border as a strategic national asset, with the Government’s migration and trade reform agendas playing a key role in contributing to a prosperous economy, cohesive society, and strengthened national security.

Six interactive workshops featured conversations on how these goals are achievable through an increased focus on ‘innovation at the border’ and the need for government and industry to work collaboratively to develop innovative technology and business processes. Workshops and panel discussions were structured to encourage delegates to actively participate and provide innovative ideas.

Immigration reform

Government and industry delegates engaged in a dialogue that considered how we can increase the responsiveness of Australia’s Migration Programme to economic, social, environmental and security needs, and maintain our competitiveness as an attractive destination for migrants in today’s rapidly changing world. Discussions on migration challenges facing Australia focussed on:

  • how we can continue to manage Australia’s visa system with rapidly increasing numbers of people seeking to visit and migrate to Australia
  • how we can ensure that the visa system underpinning Australia’s migration programme is flexible and responsive to the changing environment
  • how the Department can work with industry to leverage new innovations to simplify visa services.

The Minister announced a public consultation process that explores opportunities to streamline Australia’s visa system will commence shortly after Summit.

Trade modernisation

In considering trade modernisation, delegates explored government and industry strategic planning for the future of international trade, and how government and industry can work together to address impending challenges. The discussions considered the supply chain community, including the shared and interrelated responsibilities government agencies and trusted entities have in maintaining supply chain integrity. Delegates also considered emerging supply chain and business process trends, including e‑commerce and new technologies, and the introduction of a single window for international trade. Delegates discussed the future impacts these trends may have on supply chain logistics, trade regulation, and trade finance. Key points discussed included:

  • to what extent government should regulate industry – or leave it to industry to self‑regulate
  • government and industry’s shared responsibility for supply chain integrity
  • trust as a key enabler between government and industry in pursing innovative, automated and digitised processes
  • a single window for international trade presenting a key opportunity for cooperation between government agencies and reducing the regulatory burden for industry.

Traveller modernisation

With increasing volumes in the movement of people, it is vital that government and industry collaborate to manage this growth, while addressing potential security risks. Delegates considered initiatives to modernise traveller pathways in Australia’s international airports and seaports, including traveller automation, and traveller processing capabilities set to be in operation by 2020. Delegates discussed what the traveller pathway will look like beyond 2020. Delegates also discussed how to address current barriers to create a truly seamless traveller experience. Key points discussed included:

  • gaining efficiencies throughout the end-to-end traveller experience for airports and seaports
  • focusing on the seamless traveller pathway while maintaining the integrity of Australia’s border security
  • how we can leverage data from the trade environment to improve the traveller process
  • incentivisation as a key component in encouraging industry and government to take up new technologies and innovative processes.

Next steps

The Summit provides a platform for delegates to consider how government and industry can work together to create solutions that meet new requirements and challenges at the border. In close cooperation with industry counterparts, the government will pursue a seamless border management system that improves the flow of people and goods and the collection of revenue, while dealing with the threat of crime and terrorism and other enforcement interests.

We will pursue a long-term, consistent and collaborative programme of engagement with stakeholders to deliver border protection outcomes and foster lawful trade, travel and migration.

We encourage our industry partners to help us create Australia’s border future. We also encourage our industry partners to continue to work with us to deliver the Government’s significant migration and trade reform agendas.