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Renewed calls for passport-free travel across the ditch

Published: 11:40AM Tuesday April 24, 2012 Source: ONE News

An Australian tourism boss has renewed calls for passport-free 'ANZAC express paths' to be established between New Zealand and Australia.

Travellers would only need photo ID to travel between the two countries, similar to domestic-travel arrangements.

The concept first arose in 2009 when former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and John Key agreed to make the creation of a common border a priority.

However, Australian Tourism and Transport Forum chief executive John Lee said little progress has been made and he is calling for Julia Gillard and Key to revive the ANZAC express pathway plan.

"We urge you to call a prime ministerial summit between yourself and Mr Key," Lee told The Telegraph newspaper.

"The benefits of streamlining border arrangements and freeing up travel between Australia and New Zealand are manifold and extremely valuable to both countries."

Airlines say the move could slash fares by up to 30% and remove the administrative hassle of having to carry passports and go through immigration.

The revival of the ANZAC pathway comes as Australian tourism operators struggle with the high Australian dollar.

Spending by foreign visitors was estimated to have fallen to $2.63 billion in February, the lowest monthly figure since December 2007.