The Australian Government, sensitive to the criticism of victimizing victims of Victorian the bushfires, according to scant information available from the passports office has offered to waive the costs associated with the reissuing of any passports that were destroyed in the fire with the same expiry date of the original passport.
Whilst the Government should be commended for the offer of assistance to Bushfire victims and their insurance companies, who otherwise would have to cover the cost of replacement, the question needs to be asked why they do not offer the same degree of compassion to other victims of a flood or victims of a crime who have had their passport stolen?
Applicants are still be required to furnish a copy of their birth certificate and other documents verifying their identity. All you should need to do is prove that you are the person associated with the original passport. A birth certificate can not identify who you are, last time I look they did not have a photo or DNA imprint on them. Your entitlement to be issued a passport should already be recorded and on file from when you were last issued with your original passport. I would have thought that if they had a record of their original passport there would be no reason for the having to produce a copy of your birth certificate. If your birth certificate was also destroyed you will need to obtain a new one before the Australian Government can reissue you a replacement passport. It is unclear if the government has extended the compassionate offer to also include reissuing other documents such drivers license and the like.
If your money, assets and passport are stolen or destroyed by no fault of your own you are penalised by the Government for being a victim (unless you are effected by last weeks bushfires).
It is still unclear what test or proof of onus they will require. We could find no information on the http://passports.gov.au web site related to Bushfire or flood victims.
What is clear is that the system that was put in place by Alexander Downer is unfair and unjust. A system that has been prolonged by the Rudd Labor government who has increased the level of fees charged.