Member for Dickson, Queensland
Minister for Immigration and Border Protection
PARTY Liberal Party of Australia
PO Box 6022
House of Representatives
Canberra ACT 2600
Telephone: (02) 6277 7860 Fax: (02) 6273 4144
3/199 Gympie Road
Strathpine, QLD, 4500
PO Box 2012
Strathpine, QLD, 4500
Telephone: (07) 3205 9977 Fax: (07) 3205 5111
Immigration Minister Peter Dutton makes bold statements on media proclaiming all 501 detainees are hardened criminals. According to our own research and data nothing could be further from the truth. We discovered me are randomly apprehended from other detention centres in a kidnapping fashion and they are dealt with inhumanely whilst being transported to Christmas Island. We have known many men to be placed on Christmas Island from as young as 18yrs of age, men with serious health conditions, men who have not been to prison at all, men who's security ratings were low, men who were categorised as ready and trustworthy enough to be let out on parole conditions, first time offenders, low level crimes such as driving offences. Hardly grounds to make such outlandish claims of 'Hardened Criminals'
Note: Minister Peter Dutton doesn't actually address the original question to address two men who were arrested on terrrorism charges, "Minister, when did the men arrive in Australia and what pressures were our security agencies under at the time they arrived?" Minister Dutton goes on to quote figures and proceeds to attack the Labor government. Published on Feb 11, 2015
Rebuts claims that about 457 Visas (temporary work visas) will have any consequences on employment opportunities in Australia. Published on Aug 18, 2015
Published on Sep 1, 2015
8 NOV 2015
Immigration Minister Peter Dutton is still refusing to deny Australian officials paid people smugglers to turn boats back.
An Amnesty International report released in October accused Australian officials of transnational crime, saying they paid $US32,000 to six people smuggler boat crews to return to Indonesia.
Mr Dutton repeatedly refused to rule out that any payments were made to people smugglers during an interview on ABC's Insiders program on Sunday, but insisted officials acted within the law.
8 NOV 2015
Immigration Minister Peter Dutton says more Syrian refugees could eventually be welcomed to Australia.
Immigration Minister Peter Dutton has flagged bringing more Syrian refugees to Australia, insisting more assistance will need to be provided as the situation in the Middle East deteriorates.
Australia is already taking 12,000 Syrian refugees, and states and territories are locked in a "bidding war" over who will receive them, Mr Dutton says.
"If we can demonstrate that we can get the security and health checks right, and that we're bringing the right people, I think people will have confidence in the program perhaps at some point extending," he told ABC's Insiders program on Sunday.
16 NOV 2015
Immigration Minister Peter Dutton warns Australia won't be rushed on security checks for the refugee intake of 12,000 Syrians.
The timetable for bringing 12,000 Syrian refugees to Australia could blow out as authorities undertake thorough security checks, Immigration Minister Peter Dutton has warned.
A Syrian passport, used by the holder to enter Greece as a refugee, was found near the body of one of the Paris suicide bombers, raising concerns about migration paths through Europe.
Australian diplomats in the Middle East have been instructed to ensure strict checks of applicants for the refugee intake.
"We are not going to rush this process," Mr Dutton told the Seven Network on Monday.
"If it means that the timeline is blown out ... that will be a consequence of it."
The biometrics of refugees will be checked with intelligence agencies in other countries to minimise the threat.
Mr Dutton was in Jordan a fortnight ago and is conscious that false documents and passports are circulating inside refugee camps.
"We need to make sure we know who is coming to our country," he said.
Mr Dutton rejected calls from some quarters that Australia needed to close its borders completely to refugees, pointing out that as an island Australia faced a different situation to Europe.
NSW Nationals MP Andrew Fraser has called for tougher border control.
"Message to Malcolm Turnbull: Australia does not need Middle Eastern refugees or Islamic boat people!" the state MP wrote on Facebook.
"Close our borders. We have enough anarchists already resident in Australia."
Posted on August 29, 2015
A first draft to which additions will be made.
The Leitch family had first settled and established a dairy farm in the 1860s. Peter’s grandmother, who is 92 years of age, still lives at Albany Creek in the original family home. 
Peter Craig Dutton was born 18th November 1970 in the working-class Brisbane suburb of Boondall, about 15 kilometres north of the city, the eldest of five children to Ailsa, nee Leitch, who worked in childcare, and Bruce, who was a builder. He was an adult before he hit adolescence. “He’s always been very responsible, a very straight-down-the-line person,” says Ailsa, who’s now 69, divorced from Bruce and living as a retiree in the Brisbane bayside suburb of Manly. “Right is right and wrong is wrong.” 
“I was a fairly shy child growing up and not involved in student politics. I didn’t see myself in the limelight,” Dutton says. “I was more interested in making money through part-time work.” 
He started his working life at 12 – delivering newspapers, mowing lawns and working after school as a butcher’s boy – a job he continued until starting university. He purchased his first property at 18. 
Peter grew up on the north side of Brisbane, in Albany Creek and finished high school at the relatively new (founded 1960) Anglican St Paul’s School in Bald Hills. 
He drifted, rather than rushed, towards the Young Liberals after leaving school and in 1988 he joined the Liberal Party.  In 1989 becamethe Policy Vice-Chair of the Bayside Young Liberals 1989  and ran as the Liberal candidate against popular Labor MP Tom Burns in the then-safe state Labor seat of Lytton, in Brisbane’s east. It was a try-on, with the Liberals needing a candidate to stand against Labor, which everyone expected to be ushered into power after more than 30 years of conservative rule. Dutton didn’t lack confidence, though; he thought he could win. “Every politician, even young ones who run in hopeless seats they can never win, always harbour some desire to win,” he says now. “Youthful exuberance.”
He became Chair of the Bayside Young Liberals in 1990. 
In 1990, Peter graduated from the Queensland Police Academy and was a police officer working in the Sex Offenders Squad, the Drug Squad in suburbs such as Red Hill, Brisbane, and the then National Crime Authority. 
About 1992 Peter Dutton married but it was not a long-term relationship as the marriage ended after just a few of months. 
Dutton has beena Company director since 1993. 
Around this time Peter also completed a Bachelor of Business degree at QUT. 
Dutton became Secretary of the Liberal Party Brisbane Central Branch 2000. 
It was Dutton’s success in wresting Dickson from Kernot in 2001 that first made John Howard take notice. “He did extremely well to beat Cheryl Kernot,” says Howard. “He held his nerve.” He is referring to a suggestion, made during the campaign by Kernot, who’d won the seat in 1998 by just 176 votes, that journalists should question why Dutton quit the police force when he did. The insinuation, in the wake of the police corruption inquiry, was obvious: that Dutton might be hiding a blemished record. Dutton labelled the innuendo “offensive and preposterous” and managed to produce glowing references from the National Crime Authority. Still, he was worried some mud would stick and that her comments would hijack media coverage of his campaign. But Kernot’s attack backfired when ALP leader Kim Beazley requested she withdraw the comment and, on election day, he won the seat and his ticket to federal parliament with a 6 per cent swing. 
In his inaugural speech he drew attention to a personal characteristic which draws criticism from many who know him. Speaking of his family building business he said, “The business now employs close to 40 Australians, both young and mature age workers. I thank them for working with a boss who perhaps has not always been as tolerant as he could have been, but certainly who always demanded the best for our valued clients.” 
Mr Dutton also spoke passionately about Liberal principles of individualism and reward for achievement. He urged minimalist government intervention in people’s lives, blasted inadequate sentences for criminals and the ”dictatorship” of the trade union movement and the civil liberties lobby.
“There are echoes of the bush about him,” says John Howard, who considers him one of Abbott’s finest performers, despite what he calls his “laconic manner. I was impressed by him from the word go.” Those who sit on the other side of the political divide paint an alternative picture of Dutton – that of a nasty Liberal bully boy driven by very right-wing ideology. “His default position is the best defence is to attack,” says opposition health spokeswoman Catherine King. 
”Not everyone loves him, that’s for sure,” says his friend and long-time Canberra flatmate, Liberal MP Steve Ciobo. ”But that’s a consequence of him being a straight shooter – and that’s a very good thing.” 
His first term in Parliament was highlighted more by personal events than by political.
His daughter Rebecca was born in March 2002 and now divides her time between her parents.
Dutton married Kirilly in July 2003 in Italy and they have two sons: Harry, born July 2004, and Tom born in 2006. 
“He’s very sentimental,” says his wife, Kirilly, who runs a family-owned childcare centre “with very traditional ideas. He insists on keeping all the children’s drawings, every photograph taken of them and even items of clothing they might have worn to mark a special occasion.” He is, she emphasises, deeply traditional. Christmas for the Duttons is always the same: church on Christmas Eve followed by a festive lunch the next day at the home of Dutton’s 69-year-old father, Bruce. 
Re-elected with an increased majority in 2004 Dutton was appointed Minister for Workforce Participation, with responsibility for the Job Network, Disability Employment Services, Work for the Dole and improving transition to work opportunities for all unemployed Australians. At the time of his appointment Peter was one of the youngest Minister’s since Federation.
In January 2006 he was appointed Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Revenue. 
Dutton successfully retained Dickson in the 2007 federal election with a majority of 0.26%, after an 8.76% swing to his rival Fiona McNamara. 
2008 – Into Opposition
In 2008, when new Prime Minister Kevin Rudd apologised to the Stolen Generations, Then Liberal Opposition Leader, Brendan Nelson called on his front bench to supported the motion. Dutton was the only coalition front bencher to abstain. 
Dutton is stridently opposed to an Australian Republic and same-sex marriage, but he does regret boycotting Rudd’s apology. “I underestimated the symbolic and cultural significance of it,” he says. At the time, he couldn’t see how a statement of national regret would help those Aboriginal children being assaulted and raped in record numbers. In fact, he thought the gesture reeked of hypocrisy. “The sexual assault of children is something I cannot comprehend. It upsets me greatly.”  (Editor’s Query – Does this only apply to white Anglo-Saxon children? And not to those children incarcerated on Nauru Island? Why does the word “hypocrite” spring to mind?)
He has made enemies in the snakepit of Queensland conservative politics and is accused by them of being churlish and duplicitous. 
In 2009, a proposal was made under the Commonwealth Electoral Act to alter Dutton’s electorate of Dickson. The alteration may have had the effect of making the seat less secure for the Liberal Party. Wary of losing his place in the House of Representatives, Dutton sought endorsement for the safe Liberal seat of McPherson. Despite the support of Liberal leader Malcolm Turnbull, the retiring member for McPherson Margaret May, and several other party luminaries including former Prime Minister John Howard, Dutton was defeated by rival candidate Karen Andrews. The final redistribution cemented the erosion of the Liberal Party’s position in Dickson, albeit less adversely than originally proposed. With no better option available to him, Dutton opted to recontest Dickson at the next election. 
Dutton contested and won Dickson at the 2010 federal election, achieving a swing of 5.45% to easily overcome the 2009 redistribution. This resulted in a two-party-preferred vote of 54.69% as of 23 August 2010. Following the 2010 election, he was appointed as Shadow Minister for Health and Ageing. 
2013 – In Government again
Dutton retained his seat at the 2013 election, and now sits on a margin of 6.7%. He was appointed the Minister for Health and the Minister for Sport from 18 September 2013 until 21 December 2014. 
Dutton attempted to introduce a GP copayment of $7, but this proved highly unpopular with both the public and the medical profession, and the plan was dropped. Dutton was overwhelmingly ranked as the worst health minister in 35 years according to a poll run by Australian Doctor magazine. 
On 23 December 2014he was appointed Minister for Immigration and Border Protection after a cabinet reshuffle. 
Immigration Minister Peter Dutton has paid more than $2.3 million for a luxurious beach-front apartment on Queensland’s so-called ‘Millionaires Row’. The one-time Health Minister joins 11-time surfing legend Kelly Slater and five-time Moto GP world champion Mick Doohan as residents of the much-sought after Palm Beach address. 
During his term as Minister for Immigration he has increased the powers of the Customs Department and, in fact has now turned it into Australia’s Border Force with Roman Quaedvlieg (whose name, in old Dutch, means “Evil Fly”) as its head. What’s in a name? If you’re the newly created Australian Border Force, the answer is about $10 million – splashed on military-style uniforms and thousands of signs at airports and detention centres to create a fresh, hardline image. 
On 5 June 2015 Dutton categorically denied claims made by Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young that she was spied on during a visit to Nauru. At the same time he called into question her credibility and track record “when it comes to facts”. The spying claims were later confirmed by the Immigration Department and Wilson Security who carried out the spying operation. 
Dutton’s unique facial features and his apparent innocuousness and unpopular decisions have led to some visual artists to represent him as that most disliked of vegetables, the Brussels Sprout.
While I tend to avoid “nameflaming” and references to appearance, in this case I can see the resemblance.
“[Dutton] is a cop, an institutional conservative,” one minister says. “He believes in respect for law and order, for institutions.” Certainly, the things that matter most tohim, agree those who know him well, are attention to detail, loyalty, respect for authority and a conviction that good must, and will, triumph over evil. It is the belief system of a conscientious law-enforcement officer. 
MINISTER PETER DUTTON - MEDIA RELEASES FOR 2015
- 23 December - Expert review of the 457 temporary skilled migration income threshold
- 18 December - New recruits to help protect Australia's borders
- 17 December - ABF marine base to be established in Darwin
- 11 December - Patrol vessel boost in Torres Strait
- 08 December - NZ visa cancellation appeals
- 07 December - Visa reforms to attract innovative talent to Australia
- 04 December - Parliament passes Citizenship law
- 04 December - New visa application centre up and running in Chengdu
- 27 November - Joint cross border patrol begins in Torres Strait
- 26 November - Citizenship bill
- 25 November - Paying for visa sponsorship outlawed
- 25 November - First ABF strike team tobacco seizure
- 20 November - Rise in counter-terror unit interventions
- 19 November - Australia to enhance visa arrangements for Indonesian visitors
- 10 November - Government responds to report on the Australian Citizenship Amendment (Allegiance to Australia ) Bill 2015
- 30 October - Visa changes to benefit northern economy
- 27 October - Australia increasingly a destination of choice for international students
- 23 October - PNG delivers on refugee settlement
- 22 October - First ABF marine recruits graduate
- 21 October - Government and Opposition reach agreement on support for China Australia Free Trade Deal
- 20 October - Record drug seizures at the border
- 17 October - Misleading statements
- 16 October - Record illicit tobacco seizure leads to new strike team
- 15 October - Ten tonnes of tobacco seized in Melbourne
- 15 October - Regional partnership enhanced
- 14 October - Australia and US enhance cooperation on Border Protection
- 13 October - Government will consider Labor's ChAFTA proposals
- 05 October - Australia welcomes Nauru open centre
- 02 October - Illegal Arrival to be removed after High Court decision
- 01 October - Stronger links mean stronger borders
- 01 October - Australian Border Force detains 20 Illegal workers in Northern Territory
- 25 September - OSB Policy stands strong
- 22 September - Work and Holiday arrangement with China commences
- 17 September - NSW police officers become new citizens
- 17 September - Government House welcomes 18 new Australians
- 17 September - New aussies welcomed on Australian Citizenship Day
- 17 September - Royal Navy Officer becomes an aussie
- 09 September - Cambodia meetings
- 06 September - Syrian humanitarian crisis
- 04 September - Radical overhaul to ban importation of synthetic drugs
- 04 September - Committee report on citizenship legislation
- 04 September - New York Times editorial
- 03 September - Law enforcement agencies keeping drugs out of Australia
- 02 September - Vietnamese National Day
- 24 August - Labor boat policy unravelling
- 19 August - Academic partnership to give our region greater maritime security
- 16 August - Multi-million dollar mobile technology boost in drug war
- 13 August - New powers to strengthen border identity checks
- 13 August - Extradition of alleged people smuggler - a win against the evil trade
- 06 August - Illegal fishing operation fined over $2 million
- 06 August - OSB marks milestone - year with no boats
- 31 July - Commending the success of Australia's Cape Class vessels
- 28 July - Labor readying for another boat invasion
- 24 July - Readying for Townsville's International Airport
- 22 July - Industry tip-offs lead to major illicit goods seizures
- 16 July - Almost seven tonnes of drugs kept off our streets
- 08 July - Australian Border Force detains 12 in Bundaberg
- 01 July - Inaccurate media statements on ABF Act
- 01 July - A new era in border protection
- 29 June - Achievements recognised at ACBPS CEO’s Awards
- 29 June - Shorten fails leadership test - remains silent on turn backs
- 26 June - Appointment of first Australian Border Force Commissioner
- 26 June - International cooperation combatting illegal fishing
- 23 June - Legislation to strip terrorists of citizenship
- 19 June - Government operation results in visa cancellation
- 18 June - Refugee week highlights Australia's refugee success
- 17 June - Migration Trends report highlights migration growth
- 17 June - New pilot visa to boost Australian tourism
- 15 June - Labor will bring back the boats
- 14 June - Queensland kick starts Refugee Week celebrations
- 05 June - Comments by Professor Triggs
- 29 May - Helping the region to address irregular migration
- 28 May - Illegal workers targeted nationally
- 26 May - New measures to strengthen Australian citizenship
- 25 May - ACV Ocean Shield to return home after patrolling the Southern Ocean
- 25 May - Immigration and Human Services crack down on fake couples
- 21 May - No place for foreign criminals
- 20 May - A reverse one and a half somersault or what?!
- 19 May - Minister's council re-launched for 2015
- 19 May - Labor-Greens one sided inquiry
- 15 May - Regional cooperation leaves organised crime high and dry
- 15 May - Law enforcement and border protection stops $100 million of ice hitting our streets
- 14 May - Australian Border Force one step closer
- 14 May - Parliament passes the Tribunals Amalgamation Bill
- 12 May - Benefits for consumers, travellers and industry from red tape cuts and new technology
- 12 May - Restoring integrity to refugee intake
- 12 May - New Australian Border Force strengthens Operation Sovereign Borders
- 12 May - Townsville to receive ongoing border agency services
- 12 May - Sunshine coast to become a new international airport
- 09 May - Child protection panel and extra police officers to start work
- 07 May - Visit to Sri Lanka strengthens ties
- 06 May - Labor all at sea on boats - admits failure - denies solution
- 05 May - Operation Sovereign Borders update
- 04 May - Budget dividend from stopping the boats
- 04 May - Shorten won't stop the boats
- 29 April - 17 illegal workers detained in Woody Point Brisbane
- 28 April - Strengthening Australia's relationship with IOM
- 24 April - Maritime enforcement activity closes the net on transnational crime
- 23 April - New security measures at international airports
- 13 April - Chris Bowen – Labor’s Sergeant Schultz
- 31 March - Settlement arrangements reinforced during PNG visit
- 30 March - New commander named for Operation Sovereign Borders
- 26 March - Labor sanctions irresponsible inquiry
- 26 March - Australia and Cambodia sign new immigration agreement
- 25 March - Resolving Labor’s illegal maritime arrival mess
- 23 March - Marles still quiet on turn-backs
- 20 March - Productivity Commission inquiry into the use of charges to determine the intake of migrants
- 20 March - Moss report
- 18 March - 18 months of OSB delivers stronger borders
- 18 March - Australia and Vietnam sign new visa MOU
- 17 March - Thailand detains illegal fishing vessel
- 13 March - Refugee settlement in Cambodia moves forward
- 08 March - Customs stops teenage brothers leaving Australia
- 05 March - Greater protection at Australia's borders
- 04 March - Nauru demonstrations will not alter Australia's position
- 27 February - Enforcement activity to protect the Southern Ocean
- 27 February - Stronger regional maritime security
- 25 February - Government continues commitment to strengthen Australia's borders
- 21 February - Government closes Darwin's Bladin detention facility
- 19 February - People smuggling venture returned to Sri Lanka
- 19 February - Nauru visit reaffirms regional processing partnership
- 15 February - Crackdown on foreign criminals and bikies
- 12 February - Two hundred days without an Illegal boat arrival
- 10 February - Australian vessel gifted to Malaysia
- 07 February - Regular international flights in and out of Townsville
- 06 February - Irish criminal removed from Australia
- 28 January - Operation Sovereign Borders delivers six months without a successful people smuggling venture
- 25 January - Remembering the value of citizenship on Australia Day
- 24 January - Two criminals removed from Queensland
- 22 January - Shorten must state position as Labor divides on border protection
- 20 January - Time for Mr Shorten to decide on boats
- 19 January - Ongoing unrest at the Manus Regional Processing Centre
- 17 January - Media reports regarding the Manus Regional Processing Centre
- 16 January - Unwavering commitment to regional processing in PNG
Immigration minister confirms he apologised to News Corp writer Samantha Maiden after sending her message intended for dumped colleague Jamie Briggs
The immigration minister, Peter Dutton, has apologised for calling the political editor of the Sunday Telegraph, Samantha Maiden, “a mad fucking witch” in a text message that he accidentally sent to the journalist herself.
Dutton intended to send the text to the ousted former minister Jamie Briggs,News Corp reported.
Briggs last week resigned from the ministry over allegedly inappropriate conduct with a female diplomatic staffer while on official business in Hong Kong.
On Sunday, Maiden reported that Briggs had circulated a photo of himself with the public servant, after declaring he would not reveal her identity in order to protect her privacy.
Dutton admitted sending the offensive message and played down its impacts.
Jamie Briggs resigns as minister over incident in Hong Kong bar with female public servant
“I apologised to [Maiden] straight away, which she took in good faith,’’ he said in a statement. “Sam and I have exchanged some robust language over the years, so we had a laugh after this. I’m expecting a tough time in her next column.”
Briggs stood down due to his failure to uphold ministerial standards, with the prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, labelling his indiscretion a “serious matter”.
“As Mr Briggs has noted in his public statement, ministers are expected to uphold high standards of behaviour as set out in the ministerial standards,” Turnbull said in a statement issued on Tuesday. “On this occasion his conduct fell short of that standard. After being invited to reflect on his position, he offered his resignation which I have accepted.”
A spokeswoman for Turnbull said on Monday that the prime minister would not be commenting on the text message issue, but pointed out that the “situations are completely different” between Dutton and Briggs.
Maiden, appearing on the Nine Network on Monday, said the message had been a “solid sledge” but she accepted Dutton’s apology.
“I sent him a text immediately saying ‘you know mate, you’ve sent that mad witch text to the mad witch’ and he was more than happy to apologise right away.”
Maiden said Dutton made the decision to own up, after she chose not to name him when appearing on Sunday television. She said she hoped he won’t end up on the backbench in light of the message mix-up.
“Dutton is a good minister, he’s a hard worker, he’s made a strong contribution to the government,” she said, adding there are more substantive issues in relation to the Briggs affair.
Maiden told the ABC on Monday morning that the matter should not take the focus off the allegations against Briggs.
“He apologised right away and I was more than happy to accept it. I think that there are probably more substantial issues involved here in relation to the disclosure of these photographs and texts involving the confidential complainant that of course allege that Jamie Briggs behaved in a way that certainly made her feel uncomfortable in a Hong Kong bar,” she said.
“I’m glad that Mr Dutton has my number. He has done all the right things apart from texting me a text calling me a mad witch. I’m happy to leave the matter there.”
The immigration minister was a loyal supporter of the former prime minister, Tony Abbott, and offered to resign from the ministry after Turnbull took the reins. Turnbull was urged by Scott Morrison, now the treasurer, to keep Dutton in the immigration portfolio.
Sunday’s text message error was the latest gaffe by the immigration minister.
Good luck to Jamie Briggs, new minister for cities. He's likely to need it
In September, Dutton shared an awkward open mic moment with Abbott about rising sea levels in the Pacific. The comments were condemned by the leaders of island nations.
Just days earlier, Guardian Australia had revealed that Dutton’s office had twice been asked to review a press release for the border force’s “Operation Fortitude” in Melbourne. The release appeared to threaten random visa checks, and the operation was cancelled following huge community outcry.
In 2010, he defended telling then health minister, Nicola Roxon, to get on her broomstick, at a time when senior female figures in the then Labor government – including prime minister Julia Gillard – faced frequent “witch” comparisons.
Dutton had demanded that the former speaker, Peter Slipper, resign over sexist comments made in private text messages.
“People are very concerned about the conduct of the speaker and these outrageous and shocking texts that appeared in the newspapers over the last 48 hours,” Dutton told reporters in October 2012. “I think it’s now up to Julia Gillard to show some leadership and say what she’s going to do with Mr Slipper.”
Dutton has not indicated whether he will stand down as immigration minister over the Maiden text message incident.
The education minister, Simon Birmingham, said the incident was “unfortunate”, but Dutton recognised his error and immediately contacted the journalist to apologise.
“[He] of course has come out and publicly acknowledged that it was him, to avoid there being a witch-hunt or blame being pointed in other directions,” Birmingham told ABC radio.
Penny Wong stops short of calling for Dutton’s resignation, but says PM can’t remain silent given he has stressed the importance of respecting women
Malcolm Turnbull has been urged to uphold high ministerial standards by disowning Peter Dutton’s “boorish” comments about a female journalist.
Labor sought to intensify pressure on the prime minister on Monday, seizing onrevelations the immigration minister had described the Sunday Telegraph’s political editor, Samantha Maiden, as “a mad fucking witch”.
The acting opposition leader, Penny Wong, cast the episode as a test of the prime minister’s leadership after Jamie Briggs was forced to resign last week for failing to meet ministerial standards during a night out in Hong Kong in November.
Wong, Labor’s leader in the Senate, stopped short of calling for Dutton’s resignation, but said Turnbull could not remain silent over the issue, especially since the prime minister had spoken about the importance of respecting women and stronger ministerial standards.
Dutton’s comments, conveyed in a text message he accidentally sent to Maiden, were “unbecoming of anyone, let alone a senior cabinet minister” and Turnbull should “front up to Australians and explain what he thinks of the behaviour”, Wong said.
“We’re starting to get a bit of a picture of what Peter Dutton’s private views are. We’ve had a couple of insights and they’re pretty boorish,” she said in Adelaide on Monday.
“I think that most Australians don’t want women spoken about in this way by their kids, by their friends, and they don’t want women spoken about in this way in the workplaces and I certainly don’t think they want it around the cabinet table.”
Wong added that “ducking for cover is not an option”.
“This is a test of Malcolm Turnbull’s leadership and he should come out and explain Peter Dutton’s position, why the behaviour is acceptable or if it’s not what is being done about it and most importantly how it is consistent with the ministerial standards that Mr Turnbull professes to endorse,” she said.
The focus on ministerial standards follows the prime minister’s decision last week to accept the resignation of Briggs as the minister for cities and the built environment, following allegations of inappropriate behaviour towards a female public servant during an overseas trip.
Jamie Briggs criticised for violating privacy by sending out staffer's photo
The public servant raised concerns about the appropriateness of Briggs’s conduct towards her in crowded bar in Hong Kong after the day’s official program had concluded. She, Briggs and his chief of staff were in attendance.
Wong said the distribution of the photo, which was published in a pixellated form by the Australian newspaper, “really confirms that it isn’t appropriate for Mr Briggs to continue in the ministry”.
Dutton apologised to Maiden for the error and played down its impact.
“Sam and I have exchanged some robust language over the years so we had a laugh after this and I apologised to her straight away which she took in good faith,” he said in a statement. “I’m expecting a tough time in her next column.”
Maiden accepted the apology and expressed hope that Dutton would not lose his ministry over the incident, which she said unfairly took the focus off the allegations made against Briggs.
Maiden also acknowledged that the pair have had a stormy professional relationship in the past.
“We may have had to put coins in the swear jar at some point,” she told Macquarie Radio on Monday.
Turnbull has yet to comment on the Dutton remarks.
Peter Duttons around world respond to 'truly Trump-like' mad witch comment
Turnbull’s first major policy announcement after taking the prime ministership in September was on reducing violence against women. He emphasised the point that all violence against women starts with gender inequality and a lack of respect.
“We, as leaders, as a government, must make it and we will make it a clear national objective of ours to ensure that Australia is more respecting of women,” he said during a press conference in September. “Disrespecting women is unacceptable. It is unacceptable at every level. At home, at the workplace, wherever.”
In November, Turnbull said men in leadership positions needed to show they were committed to gender equality.
“We need to practise that as an example in our public lives and in our private lives alike,” he said during a White Ribbon Day breakfast. “I am determined to ensure my government leads, shows the leadership to be a nation that respects women.”
Immigration minister says Fairfax reporters are conducting ‘a bit of a jihad’ and the news organisation is being ‘helped by the ABC’
The Abbott government has blamed elements of the media for contributing to the Coalition’s electoral woes, with Peter Dutton accusing Fairfax of conducting “a bit of a jihad” and attempting to “bring the government down”.
The immigration minister argued Fairfax Media was “being helped by the ABC” in the task, while the social services minister, Scott Morrison, criticised an ABC interviewer for seeking to whip up a “frenzy” about the government and asking questions “in a very verballing way”.
Arthur Sinodinos says Abbott ministers leaking on Hockey should be sacked
Morrison complained the media was increasingly covering politics like it was reality television and the small business minister, Bruce Billson, said “the gossip pedlars” should “put it in Who Weekly”.
The Coalition – which has trailed Labor in major opinion polls published since last year – has suffered bad publicity in many media outlets about the ill-fated visa-check operation in Melbourne by the Australian Border Force.
Fairfax Media reported on Monday that it had been told by two cabinet ministers that talks had been held about Joe Hockey being replaced as treasurer if the Coalition does badly in the Canning byelection in Western Australia this month, a suggestion rejected by Tony Abbott.
Dutton said it would be helpful if some political commentators “started reporting on the incidents, as opposed to being players themselves”.
“I think there’s a huge move by Fairfax at the moment to try and bring the government down, that’s fair enough,” he told the ABC’s AM program on Tuesday.
“They aren’t supposed to be political players, they’re supposed to be objective reporters of the news and I think many of them have morphed into frustrated politicians themselves ... I think regardless of what Tony Abbott does, Fairfax will say it’s bad. I think regardless of what Joe Hockey or the Abbott government does, Fairfax will say it’s bad.”
When the interviewer noted that journalists were being helped by government members who were leaking and backgrounding, Dutton added: “They’re being helped by the ABC as well, there’s no question about that, some elements of the ABC.”
Dutton made even stronger remarks in an interview with Sky News. “There is a bit of a jihad being conducted by Fairfax at the moment,” he said.
The Labor leader, Bill Shorten, said the Abbott government was “becoming a giant blame factory”.
“All they want to do is blame the unions or blame the media or blame the environmentalists or blame the economists. The only people they never want to blame is themselves and that is where they should start looking,” Shorten said.
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Channelling an old quote from Abbott, Shorten said: “My advice to Peter Dutton is if you want better coverage, be a better government.”
Fairfax’s the Age newspaper received some criticism from the ABC’s Media Watch program on Monday for the way it had presented allegations about the SAS record of the Liberal candidate for Canning, Andrew Hastie. Media Watch said the front page presentation was “unfair and misleading” but it did not find fault with the journalist.
Morrison said the Canning byelection was “a test for all of us” and he would not engage in speculation about Hockey’s position.
When asked by the ABC AM host, Michael Brissenden, whether he would take the treasurer’s job, Morrison said: “It’s speculative nonsense, Michael. I’m not going to indulge this fantasy of yours.”
Brissenden asked whether the leaking was a sign of a government in crisis and that a number of colleagues were worried the Coalition was heading for defeat after one term, prompting a forceful response from Morrison.
“Michael, you pose these questions in a very verballing way and I’m not about to entertain it,” the minister said. “What I will say to you is this: it is becoming commonplace for politics to be reported on like it is reality television. We as a government take it more seriously than that ... I’m not going to feed the frenzy you’re seeking to whip up, Michael.”
- January 4, 2016
Immigration Minister Peter Dutton is supposedly the darling of the Liberal Party’s conservative wing. Labelled the newchampion of the far right just a month ago, he is now apparently the most senior trusted member of the cabinet. One of the last remaining vestiges of the Abbott era, Dutton is still fiercely loyal to the deposed former Prime Minister. Like Abbott, he does not hide his basic contempt for humanity. He remains a strong supporter of the hard line approach to border protection. He is a firm advocate for torturing asylum seekers in offshore camps. He actively supports the trashing of human rights. And like Abbott, it is manifestly clear that he is not fit for office.
The latest scandal involved Dutton accidentally texting a female journalist and calling her a ‘mad fucking witch’. Naturally, the usual conservative supporters are right behind him, making excuses on his behalf and justifying the serious transgression: The text was accidentally sent. The message was meant for friend and dumped colleague, Jamie Briggs. And apparently, according to the conservative fan-club, calling a woman a mad fucking witch for publicly commenting on a junior Minister’s alleged sexual harassment of a public servant is fine, because Dutton realised immediately the error of his ways and personally apologised.
Except it is not fine. It is not even the slightest bit fine.
It is a national embarrassment, a disgrace and a further sign of the incompetence of Peter Dutton.
It does not matter even remotely if it was a flippant remark, if it was meant in jest, as a joke or a passing slur. It does not matter that the journalist in question has accepted Dutton’s apology. It is irrelevant that she has laughed the whole incident off, stressing that there are more important things to worry about than an errant text message.
Indeed, there are plenty of other important things to worry about.
And Peter Dutton’s gross failures as a Minister and elected representative are equally as serious and important.
Peter Dutton is a senior Government Minister. He is a member of the Cabinet. He is a man in such a responsible and important position that he holds the lives of innocent people in his hands.
Dutton alone, has the power to condemn people to a possible death by coercing them to return to the warzone they fled. Dutton alone, has the power to banish people from Australia forever, for something as simple as his dislike for their associations. Dutton alone, has the power to turn around boats and send them back from where they came from, with reckless abandon and nary a thought for the consequence.
Dutton, a man with enormous executive power, demonstrably cannot be trusted to send a text message to the correct recipient.
Putting aside the right to free speech and the freedom of opinion and expression, it is quite simply unacceptable for a Government Minister, a man in Dutton’s position, to refer to any person, male or female, as a ‘fucking’ anything.
If Dutton is the champion of the conservatives; if Dutton is considered suitable for a senior Ministerial role, the standards of acceptable behaviour in the Liberal Party must be set appallingly low.
According to his supporters, Dutton’s apology has absolved him of any impropriety and wrongdoing. The unwavering support from Dutton’s colleagues and friends demonstrate what actions are condoned in the Turnbull Government. It is a telling sign of the gross contempt that the conservative parliamentarians hold Australians in. It is a clear indication of how little regard they have for respect, accountability and professionalism.
But Dutton is not absolved. An apology does not counter that Dutton thought such a message was appropriate to send in the first place.
Dutton has a problem with behaving appropriately. He accused pregnant refugees detained on Nauru of trying toblackmail him after requesting to give birth in Australia rather than an ill-equipped third world hospital. He fiercelydefended his Department’s decision to deny a dying man’s family a visa to see him in his final days. He was caught out chuckling at his own joke about Pacific Islanders having water lapping at their doors. He wilfully misled Australians about the intentions of a raped Somalian refugee seeking an abortion, accusing her and her advocates of lying.
It is not the slightest bit surprising that Dutton and his conservative allies are dismissive of Dutton’s gaffe. It would not be surprising if they thought it completely appropriate to refer to a female journalist as a mad fucking witch. In comparison to previous blunders, it has nowhere near the same disturbing consequences. International relations are not directly affected. No lives will be destroyed by his comment.
But it is not acceptable. It is not justifiable. Dutton is an embarrassment. He rivals Abbott for sheer stupidity of action and word.
Dutton is the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection. He is a member of Cabinet. He has been touted as the next deputy leader.
Dutton, who exhibits such a lack of propriety, continues to bring shame on Australia.
There are certain standards of behaviour expected of an elected member of parliament. There are certain standards of behaviour expected of a representative of the people. There are certain standards of behaviour expected of anyone holding a public position.
And Dutton fails. Again and again he fails.
The time for appeasement of the conservative right is over. Dutton is not fit for office, and like Abbott, he must go.
The fallout from Peter Dutton's "mad f***ing witch" gaffe text continues, with a veritable coven of women dressing as witches on Friday to call for his resignation.
Dutton, the federal Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons again earlier this week when he accidentally sent journalist Samantha Maiden a text message meant for dumped minister Jamie Briggs. Dutton's text, about a story Maiden had written after Briggs' resignation last week, aimed to reassure Briggs by rubbishing Maiden as a "mad f***ing witch".
Since the gaffe was made public, social media networks have been populated by women trying to reclaim the word "witch". On Friday, groups of women dressed in Halloween-style witches garb and took to Melbourne's Federation Square and assembled outside Dutton's electoral office in Queensland to call for his resignation.
Dressed in pointy hats, brandishing broomsticks and with slogans painted on mock gravestones -- "NOT charmed by sexism," "Equality is magic," "We'll put a spell on patriarchy" -- the women posted pictures of their demonstrations on Twitter under the hashtags #TheDuttonWitchProject and #Witchin.
Jennie Hill is the founder of the "Mad F***ing Witches" Facebook page (with the profanity spelled in full) and has been involved in the organisation of the twin gatherings in Qld and Victoria. She told The Huffington Post Australia about 30 women had gathered to protest Dutton's text.
"We're trying to bring attention to the whole idea of reclaiming the word witches as a positive word. This blokey attitude in the parliament -- even if the text was sent by mistake -- this misogynistic atittude of calling women 'mad witches' is not the way women want parliament to be run," she said.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has resisted calls by Labor and the Greens to punish Dutton for the text, only releasing a short statement saying, "As I advised the minister yesterday, his language was clearly inappropriate as he recognised by apologising immediately to Ms Maiden".
Managing editor Dave Donovan has been goaded into defending Peter Dutton in response to the continued roasting of Australia's highest ranking root vegetable by callous Twitterati jokesters.
IT HAS COME TO MY ATTENTION that some people think Immigration Minister Peter Dutton should lose his job. They suggest that because this talented Australian has, arguably, made one or two minor indiscretions in recent times, he should resign or be sacked by the Prime Minister.
What utter nonsense! And a sure sign political correctness has gone completely mad in this country.
Before letting those fifth columnists at the ABC and Fairfax sway you with their vile propaganda, let me tell you a thing or two about Peter Dutton, and the fundamental principles and values that have guided him throughout his outstanding career.
Petrock “Peter” Dutton was born in Brisbane on 18 November 1970, the favourite son of an upstanding local house brick and a prizewinning garden vegetable. After school, he joined the Queensland Policeman Service Drug Squad, where he was known to be highly effective working underground.
Dutton gave up Drugs – the Squad, that is – in the 1990s, deciding to go freelance, where he built up a highly successful business in a remarkably short period of time. He was soon unearthed by the Liberal Party of Australia, who planted him into the north Brisbane seat of Dickson. After weeding out former Democrats leader/turncoat and Labor Party shadow minister Cheryl Kernot from the seat, it was there that Peter Dutton’s Parliamentary career first blossomed.
In his maiden speech, Peter Dutton immediately affirmed his core values, speaking passionatelyabout the evils of trade unions and the civil rights movement.
Dutton’s career further bloomed in 2004 when, after being re-elected, he was elevated to the ministry, being appointed Minister for Workplace Participation. So successful was he in his main task of sneering at unionists that, in 2006, he was promoted to the post of Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Middle Class Welfare — a vital role in the Howard Government.
In 2007, Dutton was again re-elected, this time by the thumping margin of 0.26 per cent, where he showed his true character and commitment to the local community by immediately commencing a search for a safer seat.
Then, a few months later, in February 2008, Dutton displayed his dedication to traditional Australian values by striding decisively from the chamber during Kevin Rudd’s Apology to the Stolen Generations — the only Coalition frontbencher to abstain.
As Opposition health spokesperson from 2010 until 2013, Dutton distinguished himself via some of the hard-edged interrogation techniques he’d acquired during his years on the Force, which mostly involved never ever asking the Health Minister any questions at all during Question Time.
With a record like that, it came as no surprise to anyone that astute talent spotter Tony Abbott appointed Dutton as Minister for Health in his incoming Government. A committed reformer, the new minister was blocked by a ragtag Senate from his goal of ending waste in the public health system — such as through a GP co-payment aimed at discouraging poor people from visiting their local practitioner when they needed medical attention. His efforts were, however, recognised by the medical fraternity, with a poll in the Australian Doctor magazine ranking him as the worst health minister in 35 years.
Given that sort of positive PR, it was inevitable that Dutton would continue to flourish, with Abbott in December 2014 awarding him the vital task of securing Australia’s borders. There, as Minister for Immigracism and Border Farce, Dutton continued Australia’s sensible policy of deterring irregular immigrants in boats by locking them up in tin sheds on steamy, disease infested, third world islands.
Other notable achievements during his time in the Abbott ministry included the stalking of a Greens senator on a visit to the Nauru concentration camp, and sending his blackshirted private Gestapointo central Melbourne to stop and detain anyone seen acting suspiciously ethnic.
But wait. It's not just all just about work for the customarily stoic Minister. He also has a lighter side — as shown in September 2015 when, just prior to a community meeting on Syrian refugees, he was inadvertently captured by an enormous boom mike swinging just above his head joking aboutthe plight of Pacific Island nations facing rising sea levels from climate change.
Funny stuff that. No doubt the islanders nearly wet themselves afterwards.
Soon after this incident, Tony Abbott was rolled as prime minister by Malcolm Turnbull — but did that did mean Dutton was gone as well? Not on your nelly!
Dutton was by now fully embedded in the ministry and still had important work to do. Like sending a raped, pregnant asylum seeker back to Nauru after she had requested an abortion and then lying about it afterwards. Such as calling a journalist a “mad fucking witch” and apparently intending to send it to his mate who had just been sacked but instead sending it to the aforementioned witch — who just happened to be a reporter at a metropolitan daily newspaper.
Fortunately, in a victory for fair-minded people everywhere, the reporter – Rupert Murdoch employee Samantha Maiden − was quite happy to laugh off the incident, saying she hoped Dutton wouldn’t lose his job over this “strong sledge”:
"…Mr Dutton is a good minister ... [as well as] a hard worker, [who has] ... made a strong contribution to the Government.”
Exactly. Peter Dutton is a good spud. It is contributions like his that have made the administrations of Tony Abbott and Malcolm Turnbull as productive as they have been. Before turning up the heat and frying Dutton − and perhaps causing a spill − people should let him rest and continue to grow in his position.
Yes, letting Australia’s highest ranking root vegetable continue as Immigration Minister is a sure recipe for success. And if anything goes wrong with his portfolio … well, who cares? They’re only bloody boat people, for Pete’s sake.
Kiwi detainees won't lose right to appeal
Kiwi detainees who decide to leave Australia won’t lose their right to appeal their visa cancellations, the New Zealand government’s been told.
NZ Justice Minister Amy Adams sought a please explain from Australian Immigration Minister Peter Dutton about a form New Zealanders were being asked to sign that says their appeals may not be heard if they leave Australia.
That would go against a commitment given by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull that New Zealanders being held in detention centres wouldn’t be disadvantaged if they returned home while they challenged the decision to revoke their visas.
Ms Adams says despite what the form says, Mr Dutton’s office has confirmed to her that the Australian government’s assurances still stand.
"No New Zealander is prejudiced or has their appeals waived or in any way dismissed by returning," Ms Adams told reporters on Tuesday afternoon.
"The form predates the assurances that were made and is a generic forum used for nationals of all countries."
Mr Dutton’s office also confirmed that New Zealanders aren’t being charged for the cost of their removal from Australia, with Ms Adams saying their debts are simply being forgiven.
She understands a legislative change would be required in Australia to stop the process of deportees being automatically billed.
Since Mr Turnbull made his commitment, a number of New Zealanders have come home, had their appeals upheld and successfully returned to Australia, Mr Dutton’s office told Ms Adams.
Despite having the situation clarified, Ms Adams remains concerned about the wording of the form and she wants to make sure Kiwis are given the right information.
"I would like a form that is specific to New Zealanders that is much clearer and that’s the point we’ve been raising with them," she said.
There’s been a dramatic increase in the number of New Zealanders being detained across the Tasman after Australia brought in tough new immigration rules late last year.
Those rules mean anyone who has been sentenced to 12 months or more in prison will have their visa cancelled.
Mr Dutton said no-one who returned to New Zealand would be denied the right to continue appeals already under way.
He said there had been cases where New Zealand citizens had returned to Australia after a favourable appeal decision.
"Signing a form to support voluntary removal will have no impact on this obligation and individuals who have done so should have no concerns," he said in a statement.
Mr Dutton said to remove any doubt he had instructed the Department of Immigration and Border Protection to clarify wording in all material provided to individuals seeking voluntary removal.
He said he had also made a commitment that New Zealanders who are successful in revoking visa cancellation won’t be liable for costs of removal.