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Wednesday, 5 December 1973
Page: 2444

Senator HANNAN (VICTORIA) - I direct a question to the Attorney-General. Is it not a fact that Article 12 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights asserts that everyone shall be free to leave any country, including his own? Is it not a fact that Australia either has signed or proposes to sign, under the new Human Rights Bill, that Covenant? Is it not a fact that in November of this year, Mr Mato Goreta of Sydney, a Croatian, was refused a passport, thus being effectively imprisoned on this island of Australia? Has Mr Goreta been convicted of any offence against Australian law? If so, what is that offence? Are any police charges pending against Mr Goreta? If so, what are they and why have they not been pressed? Is it not a fact that Mr Goreta 's home was searched in the notorious April Fools Day dawn raids this year and that no incriminating evidence was found?

Senator MURPHY - I am not able to answer all the honourable senator's questions but the main burden of them seems to be that the gentleman in question is being prevented from leaving Australia. My understanding is that it is not necessary to have a passport to leave Australia, and that ought to be well known. I think that some quite famous figures have travelled around the world without an Australian passport. There may well be circumstances why those responsible for the issuance of passports take the view that this man should not be issued with a passport. I am not familiar with the circumstances, but I would imagine that, in accordance with traditional practice, very careful consideration would be given to the question before a passport was refused.

Senator Hannan - Would you check whether he has any convictions?

Senator MURPHY

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