Proposed travel levy to help cover costs at Aus consulates
A LEVY should be introduced to fund Australia's consulates overseas due to the rising appetite for international travel among Australians, according to the Lowy Institute.
In a policy brief released on Tuesday, the institute called for a levy to be created due to the extra pressure Australians travelling overseas were putting on the nation's foreign affairs services.
Australians went on more than 8 million overseas trips last year; double the number of trips a decade.
Research fellow Alex Oliver said the rise in foreign travel, especially those involving adventure travel, risky activities and unusual destinations, was putting adding pressure on the nation's consular assistance services.
"The growing incidence of Australians overseas demanding that government intervene in their cases no matter how trivial, foolhardy or avoidable their predicament would seem at odds with a national culture that prides itself on resilience and resourcefulness," he said.
Mr Oliver said if the Commonwealth put a small consular levy on Australians travelling overseas, it would help to ensure consular services could be delivered when travellers get in a tight spot on foreign soil.