What is the change? Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) workers have gone on strike at airports in Cairns, Darwin and Perth. They are planning to strike at airports in Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney and other locations beginning next week.

What does the change mean? Travellers using any of the affected airports should expect delays and possible reductions in immigration services.

  • Implementation time frame: DIBP workers went on strike at the Cairns, Darwin and Perth airports Wednesday and plan to remain on strike in those locations through Friday. Strikes at airports in Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney and other locations are expected beginning Monday.
  • Who is affected: International travellers and others in need of DIBP services at affected airports.
  • Business impact: Businesses should be aware of the strike and the associated delays and may need to adjust schedules accordingly.
  • Next steps: The Australian Government has said that up-to-date information on the strikes will be made available on the DIPB’s website.

Background: The strikes, known as “protected industrial actions,” follow work stoppages in June and July. Workers are striking for better pay and conditions.

The Community and Public Sector Union indicated that workers will strike for four-hour time periods in both the morning and evening at airports in Cairns, Darwin and Perth through the end of the week. The union said the “rolling strike action” will continue next week at Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and other international airports on Monday, 21 September. A schedule has been posted here.

Government officials said the strike will not jeopardize security but that delays should be expected.

BAL Analysis: Travellers are advised to arrive early in accordance with guidelines from their airline and to proceed directly to immigration and customs after checking in. While DIBP says it is working to minimise the impact, the strikes are expected to cause slow-downs in service. Business people travelling to or from Australia through an affected airport should prepare for the likelihood of delays.

This alert has been provided by BAL Australia. For additional information, please contact

MARN: 9683856

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