A parliamentary report has found that Australia's diplomats are suffering from a 10-year period of chronic underfunding.
As a result, it has been suggested that Australians should pay a travel levy for foreign trips and higher fees for passports to offset the costs of helping travellers who get into strife overseas.
According to the report, the burden of consular support for Australians in trouble overseas is limiting the ability of diplomats to properly represent Australia.
The Foreign Affairs Department assisted around 14,500 Australians in difficulty overseas last year, including several hundred who were arrested and more than 300 who received emergency loans from the taxpayer.
Stuart Bocking spoke with Nick Champion, Foreign Affairs Subcommittee Chairman and Labor MP about the issue. Nick Champion said that the levy could be in the region of $3 - $10.