2018-19 Consular State of Play

  • Media release
25 November 2019

Today I launch the 2018-19 Consular State of Play – a snapshot of the consular assistance that the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has provided to Australians overseas over the past year.

Australians made more than 11 million overseas trips in 2018-19, an increase of 20 per cent from five years earlier. While most Australians return home safely, sometimes things can go wrong. If they do, Australians can receive consular assistance from 178 locations overseas.

In 2018-19, Australian consular officials managed over 13,700 cases. These included:

  • 1,572 arrests
  • 1,506 hospitalisations
  • 268 assaults
  • 1,695 deaths, and
  • 4,957 whereabouts inquiries.

The total number of consular cases is down on last year. This continues a steady decline in recent years despite the increasing number of travellers, suggesting Australians are preparing well for overseas travel and understand the risks.

To make travel advice even more accessible, I also announce today improvements to the Smartraveller website, with clearer and more readable country advisories.

Subscribers can also receive immediate updates to travel advisories, including SMS notifications during major incidents.

I urge all Australians planning overseas travel to:

  • visit the Smartraveller website to read the travel advice and other useful information
  • subscribe for travel updates including while they travel
  • understand what the Government can and cannot do if something goes wrong overseas, by reading the Consular Services Charter
  • and leave their contact details and itinerary with their family, friends or employer.

I wish all Australians a safe and happy holiday season.

Media enquiries

  • Minister's office: (02) 6277 7500
  • DFAT Media Liaison: (02) 6261 1555