OFF INTO THE WILD WET YONDER How does this...
Australians Abroad Will Need to Pay for Their Own Prostitutes
In a new consular strategy launched yesterday, the Australian government introduced measures which seek to limit the number of frivolous requests made at its embassies.
The government hopes that these measures will also help minimize the number of Australians traveling and living abroad who “overuse” consular services, stating that those who continue to do so may find future requests met with limited (if any) assistance.
While on the surface this may sound somewhat harsh, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop is quick to point out, “We’re not going to leave genuine need unaddressed but we do have to recognise that there are some who game the system. And we’re alert to it.”
Australian embassies worldwide handle a total of approximately 1,300 requests each day. This new strategy is an attempt to reduce the time normally wasted on the most irrational of those requests, allowing staff to focus on those needing serious attention.
For those perhaps unaware, the Australian government provides a short and comprehensive list of what their embassies can do. A list of what they can’t do? That seems limited only by imagination. For reference as well as amusement, a brief overview of some actual requests (and whether the embassy can/will help you with):
Lose your passport and need a replacement? – No problem.
Find yourself in need of a good lawyer? – A list of local ones can be provided.
Want to store luggage there? – No.
Access to workspace, complete with computer access? – No.
Feed your pets while you’re away? – Also, no.
Need cash to pay for repairs to the jet ski/motorcycle you banged up? – Start asking friends or family.
Short funds and can’t pay the full price that the prostitute is asking? – Wait a minute, what?
As laughable as that last one may seem, Anita Downey—a senior official at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade—assures that it is actually a quite common request at its embassy in Bangkok, Thailand.