21 January 2004

Go home, Molly, you're not a hit here, says US security

Australian officials tried in vain to have the decision reversed. The Foreign Minister, Alexander Downer, who was also in Los Angeles on Monday, said US authorities had been too tough on Meldrum. 'I think it's a little bit too tough. I'm sorry that this has happened. Molly Meldrum's a pretty respectable and popular character in Australia and I'd like to do everything I can to help him but at this stage we're not having a lot of success.'

The Australian consul-general made representations to US authorities on Meldrum's behalf, a departmental spokeswoman said. 'They are unable to reverse the decision.'

Meldrum was expected to fly to Australia last night.

I tremble for the state of US security if they think Molly Meldrum is a threat. I also tremble for the state of our US alliance if our foreign minister can be ignored by a minor immigration official at LAX.

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