By Peter Veness, AAP
February 9, 2010

http://au.news.yahoo.com/a/-/newshome/6779859/international-airports-get-body-scanners/


Travellers will face full body scans at Australia's international airports as part of a $200 million upgrade of security, announced by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.

What do you think? Do we need scanners or are you worried about your personal privacy? Leave a comment below.

Millions will be spent on improving technology to detect explosives, protect trade cargo and increasing the number of police at airports.

The spending was prompted partly by the attempted Christmas Day attack on a Northwest Airlines flights from Amsterdam to Detroit by the so-called underpants bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab.

The government's recently released aviation white paper also called for increased security measures in the air and at airports.

"The Christmas Day attempt showed that no nation can afford to be complacent when it comes to security," Mr Rudd told reporters in Canberra on Tuesday.

"The government's highest priority is the safety and security of Australians."

He listed nine measures the government is introducing.

"A range of new screening technologies" including body scanners and liquid explosive detection equipment would lead the upgrade.

The controversial body scanners will begin appearing at airports from 2011.

"The government understands the privacy concerns some travellers may have with body-scanning technologies and will implement appropriate privacy and facilitation measures to mitigate these concerns," Mr Rudd said.

Potential delays from the increased screening will be countered with $24.9 million for a Customs initiative known as the Enhanced Passenger Assessment and Clearance Program.

More money will be spent on regional engagement, with $18.2 million to improve aviation security across the Asia-Pacific.

Regional airports have not been forgotten, with $32 million to be spent introducing screening at facilities served by turbo-prop aeroplanes.

A further $17.7 million of the $200 million in funding will be used to increase the number of security dogs capable of detecting both firearms and explosives at "major international airports".

The spending doesn't end there, with the commonwealth to engage in a trial with the United States and Britain to develop better detection of liquid explosives.