Australian Passports Now Most Expensive In The World
Next time you find yourself whinging on about the 70-odd quid it cost to replace your passport after having lost it in a drunken stupor on a night out, spare a thought for the Aussies.
Our poor old mates in the southern hemisphere now have the most expensive passports in the world, according to research conducted by The New Daily.
Anyone in need of one of the travel documents in Australia will now have to shell out an eye-watering A$282 (£162.40), which rose from A$277 (£159.59) at the beginning of the year.
The passports are now the most expensive in the world, bar the cost of a Syrian passport, which is inflated at the moment for citizens living outside of the war-torn country.
Amid the ongoing war, the Syrian government charges the equivalent of around £364 - the large fee mostly goes towards trying to obtain a new document at an overseas consulate, such as in Turkey.
Speaking of Turkey, its passports aren't far behind, coming in at a whopping £185.
The Australian Federation of Travel Agents is putting pressure on the government to freeze passport fees at current levels
"We believe the ongoing increase has gone far enough," AFTA spokesman Dean Long told the publication.
"Of our major trading partners, Australia was the only country that increased the cost of our passports this year."
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A Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) spokesman said the astronomical price tag reflected "the quality of the documents produced and the standard of service delivered by the Australian Passport Office".
"The Australian passport is regarded internationally as a high-quality travel and identity document, which is a key reason why Australians are granted visa-free travel to some countries," he said.
"The integrity of the Australian passport is maintained rigorously, including through a technically sophisticated document and the prevention and detection of passport fraud."
David Berman, a senior lecturer in tourism at UTS, said the fee charged by the Australian government was aimed at raising revenue.
"The Philippines charges the equivalent of $65 (£47)," he told The New Daily.
"There's no question our passports are very expensive."
Dr Beirman, who is on a DFAT advisory group, added that the passports were 'very expensive to produce' saying that Australian travel documents had 'more safety mechanisms than most'.
Germany topped the list of most powerful passports, followed by Singapore, with a host of countries that included the UK, Japan and France tied for third.
A German passport costs about £87.
"Within the passport there are 100 security measures inserted into the passport, many of which you and I couldn't see."
Featured Image Credit: Diana Parkhouse/Creative Commons