There are only 3 possible explanations to explain why one can never get through on the phone to set up the passport interview *demanded* by the Australian passport authorities - incompetence, laziness or wilful obstruction. For a country as wealthy as Australia with high taxes, an opulent building in central London and an extremely heavily staffed bureaucracy, which clearly demonstrates otherwise, it is not plausible to cite 'a lack of resources' to account for this and so the only remaining explanations reflect very poorly on Australia's sense of duty to its passport holders. The message clearly being sent out is 'Go away'. The clear lack of taking responsibility for that situation or even publicly explaining why the service is so deficient betrays a disregard and disrespect for applicants which would seem reflective of a country that holds its citizens, such as this one, in contempt. Despite all this, the Australian passport is one of the most expensive and red-tape-heavy to apply for, which suggests, far from excellence, a deliberate effort to fleece applicants or an inability to regard best value for heavily taxpayer-subsidised government services. There is clearly something very, very wrong and the odour of bureaucratic arrogance and neglect hangs heavily over this service. It is not hard to see why Australia is not regarded as a serious country.