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Australia Jumps On Body Scanner Bandwagon

Will Introduce The Technology Over The Next 4 Years

Australia has become the latest country to say it will deploy full body scanners at airports following the Christmas day attempt to bring down a Northwest Airlines Jet bound for Detroit.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd (pictured) said the country would spend about $173 million overall on increased airport policing and security technology over the next 4 years. About $25 million of that would be earmarked to deploy new screening technologies including the controversial scanning equipment.

The international news service AFP reports that Rudd said the body scanners would be introduced progressively as part of an overall upgrade of security technology. They will focus on screening departing international passengers. "The Christmas Day attempt showed that no nation can afford to be complacent when it comes to security," Rudd told reporters in Canberra. "The government's highest priority is the safety and security of Australians."

While Rudd admitted that the body scanners were controversial, he said it is his determination that deploying them in Australia is the correct decision. "We've got to make a judgment here. An incident has occurred in the United States. You learn practical things from it, you get the best advice, you respond," he said.

The first body scanners are expected to be in use down under by 2011.

FMI: www.pm.gov.au

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