Annual Report 2008-2009

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1. Overviews2. Performance3. Corporate4. Appendixes5. Financials6. Glossaries and Compliance Index

Your location: Performance > Outcome 2 > Output 2.1 > 2.1.1 Consular Services

OUTPUT 2.1: Consular and passport services

2.1.1 Consular Services

On this page: Overview :: Consular services :: Assisting Australians overseas :: Responding to and preparing for consular crises :: Keeping Australians informed :: Satisfaction of the public and the travel industry :: Outlook


Australians travelled overseas in record numbers in 2008–09 and the demand for consular services grew accordingly. To assist Australians travelling overseas to assess the level of risk and to make informed decisions about their travel, the department maintained over 160 travel advisories covering security, health and other factors that could potentially affect safety overseas. Our online registration service, which enables us to locate Australians in emergencies, was heavily subscribed. Our case work in dangerous and remote areas continued to grow.

We continued to invest in building our capacity to manage consular cases and crises overseas. This strengthened capacity enabled us to respond quickly to more than 60 overseas crises and incidents. We developed and refined contingency plans for major events and such high-risk scenarios as Anzac Day commemorations in Turkey and France, the Beijing Olympics and Paralympics, the Commonwealth Youth Games in India, the Socceroos match in Bahrain and the Australian cricket team matches in the United Arab Emirates.

From our posts and in Canberra, we monitored developments overseas closely to ensure information in our travel advisories alerted Australians to situations likely to affect their travel plans. We focused on high-risk countries and those attracting a greater number of Australian travellers. We used our smartraveller public information campaign to reinforce the importance of subscribing to our travel advice and registering travel plans online.

Consular services

At 30 June 2009, Australians had access to consular services in 163 locations around the world including:

Australians also had access to consular assistance in the form of notarial services through our state and territory offices in Adelaide, Brisbane, Darwin, Hobart and Perth, and through our passport offices in Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra.

The department’s capacity to respond rapidly to consular issues was underpinned by:

The CEC provided a direct and permanently staffed point of contact for Australians overseas in need of emergency consular assistance. It received more than 37 000 telephone calls in 2008–09.

The department’s four Regional Consular Officers based in Mexico, Chile, the United Arab Emirates and South Africa enhanced our capacity to respond in regions where our consular presence is less concentrated. Officers in Mexico and Chile provided additional support to Australians affected by the H1N1 Influenza outbreak in Mexico. Officers travelled to dangerous or remote places, including Iraq, to assist Australians in difficult circumstances.

The travel advice subscription service available on the smartraveller website further enhanced the department’s ability to advise Australians on changed safety and security environments overseas. The subscription service enabled Australians to receive emails each time a travel advisory was reissued.

We continued our close practical cooperation with Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States to enhance delivery of consular services.

Assisting Australians overseas

Australians travelled overseas in record numbers, increasing from 5 878 445 in 2007–08 to 6 009 033 overseas departures in 2008–09. In 2008–09 consular staff provided 194 523 consular services compared to 184 992 in the previous year. Increased demand for assistance with notarials (up by 4.8 per cent to 166 662) constituted much of the growth in consular assistance.

On average, the department actively managed as many as 1550 consular cases at any one time. These cases ranged from requests for assistance with hospitalisation or for help when travel documents or money are stolen, through to cases involving arrests, deaths and missing persons.

Managing increasing expectations of the level of consular assistance, especially in cases involving Australians detained or imprisoned under foreign laws, remained a significant challenge. We are unable to intervene in judicial processes overseas or undertake independent investigations. Widespread media coverage of consular cases led to the department issuing 911 media talking points on consular matters, up from 757 consular media talking points issued in 2007–08.

Our consular caseload was complex and diverse, often directed to Australians requiring assistance in remote and politically unstable locations where the department does not have an on-the-ground presence. We responded to several kidnappings of Australians overseas, including in Africa. These cases often involved a significant whole-of-government commitment. For example, in February 2009 we sent the Regional Consular Officer based in Pretoria, South Africa, to The Gambia to cooperate with local authorities to resolve the kidnapping of an Australian man. Our intervention helped to ensure he was released. The department spent significant resources in providing consular assistance to a group of five Australians who were detained after they landed in Merauke, Indonesia, in a private plane. The five returned safely to Australia on 24 June 2009.

We also assisted in missing persons cases, ensuring that local authorities did everything possible to pursue appropriate investigations. In the case of a missing Australian in Dubrovnik, Croatia, staff from the Embassy in Zagreb and from other missions in Europe were deployed to liaise with local authorities and police. In another case, the Australian Embassy in Vientiane coordinated a rescue mission involving local communities when an Australian man went missing in the jungle in Laos. This led to his rescue.

Consular staff provided support to 1314 Australians arrested or imprisoned on various charges overseas. Australian prisoners and detainees received regular visits to confirm their health and welfare and to ensure they were treated consistently with local regulations. We ensured that reports on all our visits were conveyed in a timely manner to nominated next-of-kin. We provided extensive consular assistance to an Australian charged with offending the crown in Thailand, including by supporting his clemency bid. He was released after the King of Thailand granted a pardon.

The Prime Minister of Vietnam confirmed on 13 October 2008 that clemency had been granted to two Vietnamese-born Australians sentenced to death in Vietnam for drug trafficking. This followed Australian Government representations to support their clemency bids. We continued to provide strong support to three Australians sentenced to death in Indonesia. We foreshadowed to the Indonesian Government our strong support for clemency for the three if—after all appeals had been exhausted—their death sentences still stood.

Photo - See caption below for description
Staff of the department’s Consular, Public Diplomacy and Parliamentary Affairs Division at the inaugural Australia–United Arab Emirates consular dialogue, held in Abu Dhabi on 31 March 2009.
Photo: Courtesy of United Arab Emirates Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Enlarge image :: Photo gallery

Repatriation cases involving serious medical conditions or threats to the safety of Australians overseas remained the most difficult and sensitive consular cases. We assisted an Australian family to leave Kabul, Afghanistan, following a dispute that led to threats to the welfare of several children and their mother. Our assistance included facilitating emergency passports, travel arrangements and reception on arrival in Australia. Consular staff tracked down an Australian woman in Jordan who had a serious mental illness. In conjunction with local authorities we organised her repatriation to Australia. In total, we assisted in 32 medical repatriations, which involved liaising with doctors, airlines and next-of-kin to organise return arrangements.

We hosted the fourth round of Australia–Vietnam Consular Consultations in August 2008. The meeting provided a valuable opportunity to raise clemency requests and to discuss the cases of Australian citizens detained or imprisoned in Vietnam for drug offences. We also discussed our outreach campaign within the Vietnamese community in Australia on the dangers of drug trafficking. In March 2009 we held inaugural consular talks with the United Arab Emirates.

Consular emergency services

In 2008–09, the department granted payments of $75 053 to four Australian travellers, against the emergency services appropriation of $200 000. This comes under a consular emergency services financial support mechanism introduced in 2007–08 to allow payment for in-kind services to destitute Australians and minors, and covers Australian paupers’ funeral costs where it is not practical or legally possible for an undertaking to repay to be signed.

The emergency loans and emergency services programs had a combined appropriation of $500 000 in 2008–09. The two programs are able to use the funds flexibly, drawing on the total combined appropriation as required up to the level of the joint cap.

Travellers emergency loans

In 2008–09, the department granted emergency loans to 334 Australian travellers to the value of $415 767. This figure is lower than for 2007–08 (loans issued to 384 Australian travellers to the value of $707 825), as a result of a number of difficult medical evacuations of Australians citizens who did not have travel insurance during that year.

In accordance with guidelines in our Consular Handbook, the department provided loans on a case-by-case basis, rigorously assessing client needs and their ability to access alternative financial sources (including from family members in Australia). All loan recipients were required to sign legally enforceable deeds of undertaking to repay.

Loans issued during 2008–09 included loans made under the Prisoner Loans Scheme to 53 Australians imprisoned overseas. The loans provided Australian prisoners in approved countries the means to access adequate food and other essentials not provided by prison authorities.

In 2008–09, the department recovered $181 789 from Australians who had been issued loans, compared to $283 168 in 2007–08. As the department issued loans according to travellers’ needs and not their capacity to repay, this continued pattern of recovery reflected the success of the department’s debt management and recovery efforts. The efforts included rapid follow-up contact with debtors offering a number of different repayment options, linking debtors’ eligibility for a new passport to the repayment of an outstanding loan and allowing debtors to repay loans by instalment. The decrease in funds recovered in 2008–09 from the previous year also reflects the decrease in the amount disbursed over this period.

Personal Profile:

Suzanne Stein

Photo - See caption below for description
Suzanne Stein
Enlarge image :: Photo gallery

Suzanne Stein (left, viewing emergency facilities with local security and civil protection officials in Mexico, June 2009) became the department’s first Regional Consular Officer based in Mexico City in January 2007. She is responsible for the consular and passport workload for Mexico and its eight other countries of accreditation in the region. Suzanne also provides consular support to the mission in Port of Spain and its countries of accreditation.

The four Regional Consular Officer positions were established in 2007 in locations of growing regional demand—Mexico City, Santiago de Chile, Abu Dhabi and Pretoria—to improve the reach of the department’s consular services. Suzanne’s first priority was to get a handle on the number of Australians—both long-term residents and tourists—in the region to better plan the consular services required. Her second priority was to understand region-specific problems that would impact on the consular workload, such as the annual hurricane season and the potential for major earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

Suzanne has travelled throughout the region, meeting key players such as the local emergency and security authorities, and immigration and tourism ministries. She has fostered relationships with our Canadian partners under the consular sharing arrangement and with other like-minded missions.

‘I’ve dealt with a great variety of issues, including the Cricket World Cup tour in the Caribbean in 2007, a series of hurricanes in Mexico and the Caribbean, and most recently the swine flu outbreak in Mexico. The day-to-day consular work continues to grow; that, combined with crisis preparedness, makes for a very interesting job.’

Responding to and preparing for consular crises

We responded to more than 60 crises and significant incidents that affected or had the potential to affect Australians overseas. These included:

Flexible staffing arrangements and the deployment of our Emergency Response Team (ERT) and Regional Consular Officers to crisis areas enabled us to respond effectively to these emergencies. We established a special task force to manage a growing number of Australian travellers affected by the H1N1 Influenza virus or by the quarantine and border control measures put in place as the virus spread around the world.

To improve contingency planning and preparedness, posts transitioned to a new planning template and revised plans for countries of non-resident accreditation to make these more practical when responding to crisis situations.

With the Australian Defence Force (ADF) we jointly led Contingency Planning Assessment Team (CPAT) visits to Thailand and Pakistan to improve contingency plans in these locations, both of which have a high risk of significant consular incidents. ADF personnel valued the focused consular perspectives which the department’s staff provided during these visits.

Our overseas network and officials in Canberra jointly developed event-specific contingency plans for events attended by large numbers of Australians, such as the Anzac Day commemorations in Turkey and France. The Department of Veterans’ Affairs and other agencies organising Anzac Day commemorations expressed satisfaction with the department’s contingency planning for these events.

We worked closely with Cricket Australia, Football Federation Australia, the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC), the Australian Paralympic Committee (APC) and the Australian Commonwealth Games Association (ACGA) on contingency planning for cricket and soccer matches, the 2008 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the 2010 Winter Olympics and the 2010 Commonwealth Games. The AOC and ACGA expressed appreciation for our cooperation and coordination.

We contributed to training of ADF staff focused on evacuation handling procedures that would apply in a general evacuation of Australians from overseas trouble spots. We worked with the Attorney-General’s Department in briefing hostage negotiators in New South Wales and Victoria on working in an overseas environment. We conducted discussions with insurance companies and Australian airlines to improve coordination of our crisis management and contingency planning arrangements.

Under the four-year Consular Enhancement Program announced in the 2006–07 Budget, we finalised and continued to develop several new training programs on contingency planning and crisis management. We conducted training courses for our staff and liaison officers from other departments to prepare them for work in the Crisis Centre. We updated the Crisis Centre Operations Handbook and upgraded the classified and unclassified IT systems to ensure these are tailored to meet our crisis response needs.

Response to Mumbai terror attacks

Within four hours of the terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India, in November 2008, we activated our Crisis Centre to coordinate the whole-of-government response. Australian Federal Police (AFP) hostage negotiators were deployed in the Crisis Centre and worked closely with consular officers to identify and assist those Australians trapped in hotels or otherwise affected by the crisis, which involved nine separate locations across Mumbai.

Australia’s High Commissioner to India, Mr John McCarthy AO, led the crisis response on the ground in Mumbai. His presence enhanced the timeliness of the crisis response. He and our Mumbai Consul-General assisted Australians in Mumbai, particularly those who were injured during the attacks.

Emergency Response Teams led by the department and comprising officers from Emergency Management Australia, the Department of Immigration and Citizenship and the Department of Health and Ageing were deployed quickly to Mumbai and Singapore. An AFP team was also deployed to Mumbai. These teams provided expert advice and assistance to Australians both in Mumbai and later during their transit through Singapore’s Changi airport.

Keeping Australians informed

Our travel advisory system provided Australians with clear, current and practical information about most overseas destinations, helping them make well-informed decisions about their travel. We continued to liaise closely with the National Threat Assessment Centre (NTAC) to ensure travel advice was supported by the best available threat information. We also participated in weekly discussions with Australia’s consular partners (United States, United Kingdom, Canada and New Zealand) to enable broader information flows on travel advice and possible emerging crises.

We reissued 944 updates to our 165 travel advisories, a 19 per cent decrease on the 1165 updates issued in 2007–08. This reflects a greater focus on maintaining accurate advice for high-risk countries and an increased emphasis on providing more targeted information to identified groups of Australians—for example, sporting bodies and schools.

We issued new travel bulletins on a number of major issues, events and incidents such as the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and Paralympic Games, Anzac Day in Turkey, the Running of the Bulls Festival in Spain, the Lebanese General Elections, Balinese New Year, the introduction of new entry requirements for the United States and H1N1 Influenza. We also revised and updated our special travel bulletins, Helping to Fight Child Sex Crimes Abroad, Schengen visa requirements and Travelling by Sea. To assist in the provision of voting facilities overseas we issued bulletins on the March 2009 Queensland state election and the May 2009 Tasmanian legislative council elections and also on the Western Australia daylight saving referendum.

With the outbreak of H1N1 Influenza in April 2009, we moved quickly to advise Australians about both the virus and the steps taken by other governments to manage the situation. We worked with other Australian Government agencies to ensure the sharing of information in the early stages of the outbreak. On 28 April we published a travel bulletin, Health: H1N1 Influenza 09, to provide specific advice about the spread of the virus, precautionary measures for travellers, action being taken by the Australian Government and also on the enhanced border control and quarantine measures implemented by various countries. We updated this bulletin regularly.

Our smartraveller campaign media advertisements in November 2008, February-March and June 2009 targeted Australians travelling overseas for Christmas and later the northern hemisphere summer, and encouraged them to subscribe to our travel advisories, to register online and to take out travel insurance. Media activities included a stronger advertising presence in non-English speaking media, particularly radio and newspapers, to highlight safe travel messages to Australians travelling overseas to visit relatives.

The smartraveller website recorded 26.6 million page-views in 2008–09, an increase of 10 per cent on 2007–08 (24.3 million page-views). The smartraveller travel advice subscription service had 70 124 subscribers at 30 June 2009. The service enabled users to receive updated travel advisories and bulletins via email when they were posted on the smartraveller website. Travel registrations increased from an average of 7300 per week in 2007–08 to a weekly average of more than 10 530 in 2008–09, representing a 44 per cent increase.

The smartraveller website was reviewed regularly to ensure current information was available to Australian travellers. The site was extended to include information on issues managed by other government agencies where they had particular relevance to the travelling public such as notification of forthcoming elections/referendums, use of mobile phones and other communication options while travelling overseas and advice on the Travel Compensation Fund (a program run by the travel industry to compensate travellers who lose money when a participating travel agency collapses).

The automated smartraveller telephone service, which received 16 376 calls in 2008–09, made travel advice available to Australians without internet access.

Tracking research undertaken to assess the effectiveness of the smartraveller campaign showed that two-thirds of sample respondents agreed that smartraveller should be accessed by all travellers as part of their travel preparations. Forty-one per cent of departing travellers in the survey reported having accessed the travel advisories at some point. Almost three-quarters of those who had accessed the travel advisories were satisfied with the amount of information they contained.

We updated a number of our consular publications including Travelling Women, Backpacking and Living and Working Overseas. Travel agents and others ordered these from the smartraveller website, and they were also popular at travel expos and public presentations. We continued to monitor those situations and destinations with the potential to have an impact on significant numbers of Australians with a view to preparing information to alert travellers to potential risks. New versions of the Travelling Well and Travelling Seniors brochures were translated into Italian, Spanish, Vietnamese, Chinese, Greek and Arabic and will soon be available on the smartraveller website.

We maintained a close relationship with the travel industry to promote travel advice and other smartraveller messages, including important information on insurance and health issues. The department convened three meetings of the Smartraveller Consultative Group to communicate safety and security messages to travel agents/operators, airlines and Australian travellers. This included an ad hoc meeting to discuss travel to Indonesia in the lead-up to the execution of the Bali Bombers.

The department continued to conduct outreach activities with travel agents who service communities from non-English speaking backgrounds. We also participated in travel expos and travel industry events in all Australian capital cities to increase public and travel industry awareness of smartraveller, especially its safety and security messages. A senior consular officer gave the keynote address at the annual general meeting of the Council of Australian Tour Operators in June 2009, emphasising the importance of our continued close cooperation with the travel industry.

We funded a final training workshop on child protection for hotels and resorts in Fiji in April 2009. The workshop was conducted by Child Wise Australia and some 31 employees from 16 major resorts and hotels attended. The workshop resulted in the incorporation of child protection training into the curriculum for the training certificate program for staff.

In consultation with relevant agencies, we completed certification of the smartraveller campaign to ensure it complied with new Government Advertising Guidelines introduced in September 2008.

Satisfaction of the public and the travel industry

In accordance with our Consular Services Charter, we use a range of mechanisms to obtain and monitor feedback on the consular assistance and travel advice we provide to the Australian public. We closely monitored the feedback we received through our website and in correspondence from the public. This feedback contributed to improvements we made to consular services.

In 2008–09 the department received 1165 letters and emails from the public on consular issues. Of these, 131 commented positively on services provided in specific consular cases and on the department’s smartraveller services. Only four items were negative, expressing concern about staff attitudes and service received. Complaints were investigated in a timely manner and, where warranted, corrective action was taken. The remaining letters and emails sought consular information, including in relation to consular services as set out in the Consular Services Charter.

Most of the feedback emails related to the department’s travel advice and notarial service. A smaller number sought assistance in completing online registration information which will be simplified with the release of the department’s new travel registration system (Consular Assistance Information System). Implementation of the system has been delayed by software development issues. We expect it to be implemented in 2009–10.

smartraveller outreach activities

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New South Wales State Office staff member, Ms Almaza Farag, at a smartraveller community outreach event at the Vietnamese Tet Festival in Fairfield on 8 February 2009.
Enlarge image :: Photo gallery

In 2008–09 we produced a travel bulletin to promote safe travel messages to Lebanese–Australians travelling to Lebanon to participate in that country’s election in early June. We wrote to Lebanese–Australian community groups in Arabic and English, encouraging travellers to register, take out travel insurance and subscribe to the travel advice. Our mission in Beirut conducted a parallel campaign directed at the Lebanese–Australian community in Lebanon.

We extended our outreach strategy to raise awareness of the dangers of overseas drug trafficking to Vietnamese–Australian communities in Australia. We participated in Tet Festival celebrations around Australia in February 2009 to promote the anti-drug trafficking campaign and safe travel messages.

We undertook targeted outreach to groups and individuals travelling overseas to play sport. We disseminated our safe travel messages to over 80 national sporting organisations, state institutes and academies of sport throughout Australia.

Following an increase in pirate attacks against all forms of shipping in waters off the Horn of Africa, the Minister for Foreign Affairs wrote to domestic and international travel providers in January 2009 asking them to bring our re-issued Travelling by Sea advisory to the attention of Australian clients. The letter was distributed to 2571 members of the Australian Federation of Travel Agents, 50 additional domestic travel providers and 33 international providers.

We disseminated safe travel messages to all secondary schools in Australia through both state education departments and the National Coordinating Committee for International Secondary Student Exchanges. The outreach targeted students participating in school excursions and academic exchanges. In particular, we encouraged them to register details of travelling school groups and of exchange students on our online registration facility.

Continuing support for the Charter for Safe Travel—membership of which grew from 2621 at 30 June 2008 to 2662 at 30 June 2009—reflected the travel industry’s continued satisfaction with the quality of the department’s information and services to travellers. The department used travel expos and other industry events to disseminate smartraveller safe travel messages directly to the Australian travelling public. Feedback through focus group and other market research mechanisms was generally positive and provided a useful foundation for further refinements to outreach programs.


We expect continued growth in the number of Australians travelling overseas, despite short-term variations caused by the global economic crisis and the unpredictable security environment. This growth will result in increased demand for consular services. Key indicators, such as the rise in the number of Australian passports issued, influence our planning for this expected increase. An uncertain international security environment, natural disasters and political crises will continue to contribute to our consular workload.

To address these challenges the department will, in addition to meeting its ongoing consular responsibilities, focus on three sets of priorities.

1. Public information and risk mitigation

Through the smartraveller campaign and our travel advisories, we will educate Australians about the importance of considered preparations and well-informed travel decisions, of avoiding risky behaviour and dangerous destinations, and of holding realistic expectations of consular services. We will supplement reduced advertising funding with strategically targeted outreach activities, including through industry stakeholders, to ensure a continued high level of awareness of smartraveller messages among the travelling public.

2. Consolidating the enabling environment

We will implement the Consular Enhancement Program by refining our consular training for both Emergency Response Teams (ERTs) and staff involved in contingency planning and crisis management. We will assess current consular training modules to ensure their durability for further developing core and specialist consular skills.

Rolling out new equipment to support our Regional Consular Officers and ERTs, so they are able to establish consular operations in remote areas within short timeframes and independent of local infrastructure, will remain a priority. We expect the Consular Assistance Information System to be implemented in 2009–10.

3. Contingency planning and preparedness

Informed by lessons learnt, we will develop more robust Consular Contingency Plans for our overseas network and countries of accreditation. These will provide for more effective and efficient responses to a range of risk scenarios. Continued DFAT–Defence Consular Contingency Planning Assessment Team visits to posts will enhance crisis response skills including through the conduct of desktop exercises.


  2004–05 2005–06 2006–07 2007–08 2008–09
Australian resident departures1  4 745 540  5 000 860  5 300 830  5 878 445  6 009 033
Cases of Australians hospitalised given general welfare and guidance 638 819 1 093 1 260 1 480
Cases of Australians evacuated to another location for medical purposes 167 82 67 46 32
Cases of next of kin of Australians who died overseas given guidance or assistance with disposal of remains 642 811 912 994 1 038
Cases of Australians having difficulty arranging their own return to Australia given guidance and assistance 1 599 68 5 209 51 39
Inquiries made about Australians overseas who could not be contacted by their next of kin 16 545 8 457 13 025 13 598 17 9662
Cases of Australians arrested overseas 736 752 934 970 1 019
Cases of Australians in prison overseas (as at 30 June) 166 291 188 211 2233
Cases of Australians given general welfare and guidance 6 283 6 225 12 385 8 405 5 9924
Total number of cases involving Australians in difficulty 25 731 17 505 33 927 25 987 27 861
Notarial acts5 100 851 115 418 135 347 159 005 166 662
Total number of cases of Australians provided with consular assistance 126 582 132 923 169 274 184 992 194 523
Australians in financial difficulty who were lent public funds to cover immediate needs (travellers emergency loans) 395 393 301 384 334

1 This figure draws on ABS data and includes permanent departures, long term departures and short term departures of Australian residents. It includes Australian citizens (5 032 151) and other residents (976 882), who reside in Australia on a permanent or temporary basis.
2 This figure includes inter alia whereabouts and welfare inquiries in the ongoing H1N1 Influenza Pandemic (376), and crises in Fiji (25), Italy (70), Mongolia (58), Thailand (13 822) and India (1 535).
3 The total number of cases of Australians in prison who had been convicted and sentenced during 2008–09 was 295. Some of these cases may have been resolved during that year. The ‘Cases of Australians in prison overseas as at 30 June’ is a ‘snapshot’ of the Australian overseas prisoner population who had been convicted and sentenced as at 30 June 2009.
4 Welfare and guidance figure includes the following sub-categories: assaults (238), theft (1 445), welfare of children (196) and other welfare matters (4 113).
5 Figure includes notarial acts performed by overseas posts, in Canberra and in state and territory offices in Australia.

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