DFAT has confirmed to Australian Business Traveller that its reserves of blank passports is sufficient to cope with the numbers of Australian travellers looking to renew their their passports over the Christmas and New Year period.
“Any proposed industrial action at Note Printing Australia will not delay the issue of passports to Australians in the lead up to the Christmas holidays," a DFAT spokeswoman told us.
"The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Note Printing Australia hold ample reserves of blank passports to cover a range of possible contingencies, including industrial action."
The spokeswoman continued: "There is no need for Australians who wish to apply for a passport to travel before Christmas to change their plans. The standard turnaround time to deliver a passport is ten working days."
Planning to take advantage of the Christmas and New Year break to renew your passport?
It's a good idea to get your passport renewed over a quiet period if you're a frequent international traveller, but make sure you leave plenty of time: security guards at Note Printing Australia -- where passports are processed -- are going on strikes, starting this Wednesday 7 December.
A union spokeswoman quoted in the Herald Sun warned of delays as a result.
While this first strike will last just twelve hours, the union spokesperson warned that "action could continue throughout the month so we are encouraging people to apply for their passports now to get them in time".
So if you need a passport for travel later this month or in the new year, or if you're planning to upgrade your existing passport for a new e-passport, it's probably best to get renewing now via the Australian Passport Office renewal process.
You can also ring 131 232 or contact an overseas Australian embassy, high commission or consulate for a pre-completed renewal form.