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SENATOR LOUISE PRATT
CHAIR LEGAL AND CONSTITUTIONAL AFFAIRS REFERENCES COMMITTEE
SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR UNIVERSITIES
SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR EQUALITY
SENATOR FOR WESTERN AUSTRALIA
LABOR SENATOR FOR QUEENSLAND
LABOR SENATOR FOR VICTORIA
DUTTON’S DEPARTMENT LATE TO THE PARTY WITH DAMMING AU PAIR EVIDENCE
New explosive evidence released by Peter Dutton’s own Department of Home Affairs shows a level of personal service by the Minister and his office which goes above and beyond the normal level of service or occurrence when individuals enter Australia in breach of their visa conditions.
The 169 pages of evidence was provided to the Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee after the final report had been adopted – meaning Senators and the Committee could not consider the evidence in their final report.
Despite Peter Dutton’s categorical denial in Parliament he knew the intended employer in the June 2015 Brisbane case, the evidence indicates Dutton’s own office let the host family of the au pair know the Minister’s personal intervention was successful.
In the same case, a Senior Departmental Liaison Officer in Peter Dutton’s office stressed that the au pair should not be held in immigration detention. This is not a normal occurrence for someone who has had their visa cancelled at an Australian airport and is awaiting deportation.
In the November 2015 Adelaide case, the new evidence shows the Australian Border Force – the operational arm of the Minister’s own Department – disagreed with the ministerial intervention submission, stating they thought it was not appropriate for Dutton to intervene.
It has even been revealed the individual involved was already on a flight about to be deported from Australia but was offloaded because of the Minister’s personal intervention.
The failure by the Department of Home Affairs to provide this evidence to the Committee in a timely manner is both unacceptable and characteristic of the Minister’s dismissive approach to the entire inquiry.
This evidence only further reinforces the view provided by the Committee in the report that Peter Dutton granted visas to au pairs at airports because he was helping out mates.