THE Melbourne International Mail Gateway Facility is now protecting Australia’s borders with the aid of new 3D scanning technology.

The machine, known as a 3D Computed Tomography scanner, will be trialled until March 2020. The trial forms part of a larger $294m government security initiative to strengthen security at airports, international mail and air cargo facilities.

The initiative was announced in 2018, following the successful disruption of a terrorist plot against Australian aviation in 2017.

Department of Home Affairs assistant secretary of operational capability, Belinda Duffy, said the CT scanner is a vital piece of equipment for the ABF.

“The CT scanner is designed to assist in the automatic detection of security threats, and is also internationally certified as an explosive detection system,” assistant secretary Duffy said.

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“The main purpose of the trial is to enhance our existing ability to detect threats, including potential explosives, in the screening of inbound international mail items. If successful, the trial will lead to a sector that is even more secure.

“Our intention is to consider rolling out additional scanners across other facilities next year once the trial is complete.”

The use of 3D CT scanners at airports has been rising worldwide, including in Australia. This is due to their improved automatic threat recognition algorithms, enhanced imaging information and the ability to interrogate captured images in both a 2D and 3D view and advanced image manipulation capability.

The unit being trialled is a SureScan x1000, and is the first of its kind deployed by the ABF to be integrated in mail screening operations for the detection of explosives, narcotics, weapons and other prohibited imports.

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