One-day visa plan to help tourists

VISITORS to Australia may soon have their visa applications processed on the same day they request them.

The Australian Department of Immigration and Ethnic Affairs is looking at setting up an on-line system in the territory and elsewhere in Asia to speed up applications.

The department said lodging visas by computer would allow faster processing through travel agents or airlines, saving applicants the need to apply personally at the Consulate-General.

Immigration Minister Senator Nick Bolkus said approval would usually be given within 24 hours.

'The agency can provide a total travel package that is fast and efficient. Travellers will not need to contact the immigration office,' he said.