The news was announced at a small ceremony at the Australian Consulate-General in Phuket on the bypass road yesterday (Sept 18).
The Shared Consular Services are now found in 30 consular missions around the world.
“The Canada and Australia Consular Services Sharing Agreement dates back to the principles that were agreed to by both countries in 1986, recognizing the similarities of our philosophies underlying the provision of consular services,” explained a release from the Canadian embassy in Bangkok.
“The agreement means more points of service for Canadians and Australians abroad which in turn means quicker and easier access to emergency consular services, as well as more efficient use of public funds,” it added.
Canadians living or travelling in Phuket, Krabi and Phang Nga can now contact the Australian Consulate-General in Phuket for emergency assistance services relating to:
- Arrest or detention
- Crime and/or accidents
- International child abduction and custody cases
- Illness and hospitalization
- Lost or stolen property
- Crisis management, and many others
“Notary services and passport services will continue to be provided by the Canadian Embassy in Bangkok. Canadians should continue to consult the Canadian Travel Advice and Advisories and to stay connected through with our various tools and channels, including Twitter (@CanadaThailand), Facebook (@CanadainThailand), and our Travel Smart app. Details can be found at travel.gc.ca.,” the release added.
Craig Ferguson, Australian Consul-General for Phuket explained to The Phuket News, “Consular sharing between Australia and Canada is happening right now in places all over the world – and has been that way since the ’80s. For example in Bali or countries in the Pacific Ocean where the Australian government has a strong diplomatic presence, Canadians can seek consular assistance from our missions there.
“And it works both ways: in places where Australia doesn’t have an Embassy or Consulate like parts of South America or Africa, Aussies can ask for help at the Canadian Embassy in certain countries,” he added.
“Given there was a bilateral agreement already in place between our governments, this was a natural step for us here in Phuket. We’ve got a good relationship with staff at the Canadian Embassy Bangkok and we stand ready to assist Canadians who may find themselves in difficult circumstances,” he said.
However, Mr Ferguson also noted, “Naturally there are limits to what an Embassy or Consulate can do.”