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Tuesday, 28 August 1973
Page: 406


Mr MORRIS (SHORTLAND, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I ask the Minister for Immigration whether his attention has been drawn to reports that the great train robber, Ronald Biggs, left Australia with a forged passport made available by an English criminal in Australia. Is this report true? If so, will the Minister explain what action has been taken in relation to this passport?


Mr GRASSBY (RIVERINA, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for Immigration) - I did notice a report of an allegation that an Australian passport was used to facilitate the departure from Australia of Ronald Biggs. I had immediate inquiries made and am pleased to tell the honourable member and the House that no Australian passport was involved. The report was that an overseas criminal had made his passport available to Ronald Biggs so that Biggs could leave Australia and that he subsequently applied here for the replacement of that passport. Inquiries which I made immediately the report was drawn to my attention indicated that no Australian passport or Australian officer was involved. I want to add that the movement in and out of Australia of Ronald Biggs does indicate the need for the closest possible liaison between Australian and British authorities in matters such as this. I hope that in future there will be even closer co-operation and liaison to ensure that international criminals do not use either country as a kind of public convenience.







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