Serious concerns have been raised after the Federal Government revealed work was not being done to counter faked coronavirus vaccination certificates.
Top-ranking Services Australia bureaucrats were grilled about security measures for paper and digital proof of immunisation at a parliamentary hearing on Thursday.
Independent senator Rex Patrick was incredulous after officials confirmed no work was being done to change paper vaccination certificates.
“Surely you can’t suggest that in circumstances where there are easily available technologies to at least make it far more difficult to forge that you’re not doing anything about it,” he told the inquiry.
“I find that extraordinary.
“The Government is doing nothing about forgeries and that actually devalues the certificate itself.”
Services Australia chief executive Rebecca Skinner said the same paper system with government watermarks used for other immunisation records would be used for coronavirus.
Skinner said documents used to gain access to child care and government benefits had been a part of service delivery for years.
“We are not changing our approach to providing the paper-based service we have provided for a number of years,” she told senators.
Patrick said he had been able to forge a paper vaccination certificate in 10 minutes.
“I could be wandering around utilising that now and if you don’t think that’s a problem then that’s a problem in itself,” he said.
Skinner said it was up to people to raise issues about forgeries with the Federal Government.
“If there is a concern about that, we think people should come to us.
“That’s how we’ve treated both the hard copy and the digital copy,” she said.
But Patrick argued coronavirus certificates used to access venues needed stronger forgery proofing than documents used for government payments.
“Having a vaccination certificate that is easily forged undermines the health measures.”