Border Security: Australia's Front Line

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Border Security: Australia's Front Line
Narrated by Grant Bowler
Country of origin Australia
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 14
Running time Approx 30 minutes (including commercials)
Original channel Seven Network
Picture format 576i (SDTV)
Original run 2004 – present
Related shows Border Patrol New Zealand
Border Security: Canada's Front Line
Customs (Irish TV series)
Homeland Security USA
UK Border Force

Border Security: Australia's Front Line is an Australian factual television program that airs on the Seven Network. The show follows the work of officers of Australian Customs and Border Protection, the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service, and the Department of Immigration and Citizenship as they enforce Australian customs, quarantine, immigration and finance laws. It also shows scenes from Sydney mail centre.

Most of the programme is filmed at Sydney and Melbourne airports. Occasionally, the program features other locations such as Brisbane Airport, Perth Airport, seaports, international mail centres, raids on workplaces suspected of employing persons contrary to the restrictions of their visa or immigrant status and the work of Customs vessels and aircraft in the waters of Northern Australia.


The show premiered in Australia in 2004 and became a ratings hit.[1] The first season was hosted by Grant Bowler, who stopped appearing on camera in subsequent seasons. However, Bowler appears on the show again in 2010 at the beginning of the show. In all seasons, Bowler provides the voice over for every story. The show has continued to air since then, and airs on Wednesday nights in 2010. It is classified PG. The show was moved to a Sunday Night slot for Season 7 in 2011. The show premiered on Sunday 6 February 2011, at 7:30pm time slot. The show continues to garner high ratings.

The show is also broadcast internationally. In New Zealand, it airs on TVNZ's TV1. It airs in the United Kingdom on Sky Livingit, Pick TV, Discovery ID, and in Ireland on TV3 (airing as Nothing to Declare in both the UK and Ireland),

It airs on Tele 5 in Poland (in Polish), on vtm in Belgium and on Veronica in the Netherlands, where it features a Dutch voice-over. Kanal 9 airs the series in Sweden, on JIM in Finland, on the TV 2 channel in Denmark, on DMAX in Germany with German voice-over; and also in Italy on DMAX with Italian voice-over, where it is broadcast as Airport Security.

It is broadcast as Grensevakten in Norway on TVNorge, on the Australian Pay TV channel The LifeStyle Channel and on the Australia Network. Border Security airs across Asia in countries such as Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand and Macau. In Canada, the series airs on BBC Canada and DTour.


Writer Bob Burton in his book Inside Spin: The Dark Underbelly of the PR Industry expressed concern that the television show, by being subject to post-production editing, allows the producers to remove anything that shows any mistakes made by the government agencies concerned. Instead, Burton argues, the show gives the viewing public the sense that the government is effectively and fairly administrating border security policy.[2]

In 2009 Media Watch suggested that the Department of Immigration and Citizenship used its working relationship with Seven as leverage for an apology to its National Communications Manager, Sandi Logan, who had appeared in an unflattering light on a Today Tonight report. Media Watch's sources claimed that persons in the Department threatened to cease co-operation with Seven in the production of future Border Security episodes.[3]

In November 2014, American sex work activist Monica Jones was detained in Villawood Immigration Detention Centre after the Department of Immigration and Border Protection cancelled her tourist visa at Sydney Airport.[4][5] Jones commented that producers for Border Security "knew details of what Immigration was going to do to me" and that "It was about 30 seconds before the cameras showed up... and tried to get me on their TV show"[6] Jones was asked by an immigration officer "Are you OK if they continue to film" when she had already demanded that the TV cameras leave.[4]


2015 Season[edit]

No. in
No. in
Title Original air date Australian viewers
1 2015 (2015)


A spinoff version of the show for Canadian television, titled Border Security: Canada's Front Line, began airing in 2012.


External links[edit]