Australians convicted of certain serious crimes would be barred from accessing secure areas at the nation's airports and seaports, under a Morrison government proposal.
The coalition wants to strengthen criteria for people applying to get an ID card that allows them to access such spots.
The plan is aimed at curbing serious crime at airports and seaports, along with offshore oil and gas facilities.
It comes while almost 300 people with links to outlaw motor cycle gangs or other organised or serious crime, hold the ID cards.
Currently, the background check for people wanting an Aviation Security Identification Card (ASIC) or Maritime Security Identification Card (MSIC) considers whether they pose a security threat.
Under the proposed changes, the check would also consider whether applicants pose a criminal threat.
People convicted of offences linked to organised crime, illegal importation of goods, interfering with goods under customs control or foreign incursion and recruitment would be rejected outright.
Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton introduced legislation to parliament's lower house on Wednesday to underpin the changes.
"Airports and seaports are transit points for organised criminals to import weapons, drugs and other harmful goods into Australia," he told the chamber.
"Trafficking of these illicit goods puts Australia's security and prosperity, and the welfare of our communities at great risk.
"Serious crime is a major threat to our way of life. It costs Australia more than $47 billion a year and causes enormous human suffering.
"That is why this government is doing more to ensure that our airports and seaports and the travelling public are protected from serious criminal activity."
Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission figures show 277 people who hold an aviation or maritime security card either have links to outlaw motor cycle gangs or are on the National Criminal Target List.
The latter tracks the risk posed by nationally significant, serious and organised crime targets.
Earlier this year, a baggage handler who held an ASIC was arrested - along with a co-offender - after allegedly using his access at Sydney airport to bypass custom processes and import cocaine.
Former Labor customs minister Brendan O'Connor said the opposition supported improving security, but accused Mr Dutton of headline-grabbing by promoting measures that "already exist".
"I'm somewhat cynical because Peter Dutton has a 'headline every day' policy," he said.
Liberal MP Andrew Wallace said the legislation would fall under section 51 of the constitution which allows government the power to pass laws in relation to ports and airports.
Australian Associated Press