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Email Link   The Murwillumbah Bank Job

Listen to the Bank Job story

Courtesy of Gold FM:

bank job
Murwillumbah Bank of New South Wales. Photograph Bruce Devine.

On the 23rd of November, 1978 Murwillumbah gained a new claim to fame, the location of Australia's biggest bank robbery.

Early that morning a security guard noticed a rear door ajar at the Bank of NSW and on entering the building found the dials of the strong room door had been removed.
Local locksmiths, safemaking firms, and experts from Brisbane all failed to open the door. Tweed Shire Council workers eventually used a jackhammer to break a hole through the door, taking over 9hrs.

The police entered through the hole and reappeared to announce "they got the lot". In total nearly $1.7 million dollars in cash was stolen. The culprits were never caught.

The heist inspired some locals to quickly create souvenirs such as:

'They Got the Lot' shot glass. Tweed Regional Museum Collection, donated by Eileen Crofts, 2014. MUS2014.39

Got the lot

"They Got the Lot" T- shirt. Tweed Regional Museum Collection, donated by Mary Sims, 2009. MUS2009.24

It even inspired the band the 'Bullamankankas' to write a theme song!

"Murwillumbah Bank Job" record. Tweed Regional Museum Colelction. Donated by Tony Clark, 2013.

In a sleepy little township in northern NSW
600 miles from Sydney by way of Motor rail
Where the brown snakes and the cane toads like basking in the sun
The tourist gates are open to each and every one

The town is called Murwillumbah in the shade of Mount Warning
Named that way by Captain Cook when the Bosun's bell did ring
Where the farmers work the land so hard its born into their soul
And the hippies frolic in the hill just livin' on the dole

On a hot November evening when the township was asleep
And you wouldn't see a person after 7 on the street,
And the cops were playing poker, there was nothing on the cards
Except perhaps a barking dog in Mrs. Brown's backyard
They never heard a whisper no they never heard a beep
Through the back door of the bank of Wales, the robbers they did creep
The alarm it never was, so no one made a call
And the boys commenced to do their deed by drilling through the wall

And now the bank job in Murwillumbah it shouldn't be like that
They took two million dollars and they put it on the map
And they had the bank vault covered they knew just what to do
They came, they saw, they conquered and then they all shot through

With unemployment high, there ain't much work around
Who ever thought there'd be so much dough in a little country town
They did their job, they did it well and then they took their fill
No dynamite, no fireworks just a magnetic drill
Well I know it was illegal and I know it wasn't right
But at least there was no violence in the quiet of the night
And Murwillumbah is just the same life just rambles on
Perhaps a little poorer but richer for this song.
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