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Thursday, 18 August 2005
Page: 204

Mr Sercombe asked the Minister representing the Minister for Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs, in writing, on 10 May 2005:

(1)   Is the Minister aware of the article in the Sydney Morning Herald on 19 February 2005 which reported that Sean Evans, Law Enforcement Adviser for the Pacific Islands Forum, said that Australian officials are aware that criminals have obtained Pacific Island diplomatic passports by bribing politicians; that most of the Chinese on the move are ultimately trying to get to Australia, New Zealand, the US or Canada, and that many of then have succeeded, but that it is impossible to know exact numbers.

(2)   Can the Minister confirm these claims and provide an assurance that Australia’s borders are adequately protected from criminal entry.

Mr John Cobb (Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs) —The Minister for Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs has provided the following answer to the honourable member’s question:

(1)   Intelligence suggesting some criminal persons may be holding Pacific nation diplomatic passports is a matter for the Australian Federal Police.

(2)   See answer to part (1).