Au Pair Decisions Haunt Minister Peter Dutton
Peter Dutton waved through another au pair detained by border security after being approached by a former Queensland Police colleague who reportedly intended to employ her.
Peter Dutton intervened in au pair visa case to 'help former police colleague' according to reports https://t.co/CFRBTvqtTh— SBS News (@SBSNews) August 30, 2018
An Italian au pair had her tourist visa cancelled after arriving in Brisbane in June 2015 because officials believed she planned to work, according to The Guardian.
It was reinstated after Mr Dutton intervened.
The case is similar to that of French woman Alexandra Deuwel, whose tourist visa was cancelled and then reinstated after Mr Dutton's office was approached by AFL boss Gil McLachlan, on behalf of his extended family.
New details have emerged surrounding @PeterDutton_MP's handling of au pair cases while he was Home Affairs minister as questions continue to plague the government. @olivialeeming #auspol #7News pic.twitter.com/vla5KCzhf3— 7 News Sydney (@7NewsSydney) August 30, 2018
Both events occurred in 2015 when Mr Dutton was immigration minister.
Details of a third au pair case aren't yet known.
Pressure continues to mount on the Queensland Liberal MP to give more details about his decisions in the first two au pair cases, as well as a third that occurred around the same time.
All three will be examined by a Senate committee inquiry which starts next week and is due to report in September when federal parliament resumes.
Mr Dutton, who said he had dealt with hundreds of visa issues, exercised his ministerial powers to intervene in cases brought to his attention, as was his right to do.
In the case of Ms Deuwel, the 27-year-old was detained at Adelaide airport on October 31, 2015, after admitting she intended to work in breach of her tourist visa for farmer Callum MacLachlan - who's related to Gil McLachlan.
A series of emails given to Labor by a whistleblower show Mr MacLachlan reached out to Gil McLachlan, who contacted Mr Dutton's office to lobby for the woman to stay.
Mr Dutton used his discretion to grant her a three-month tourist visa on the condition she did not work, after being told by border authorities she was previously counselled in May 2015.
"I looked at it and thought it's a bit rough, there's no criminal history; she's agreed that she wouldn't work while she was here," Mr Dutton said on Thursday.
He claimed "enemies in the media" are dredging up the case to "get square" for his role in last week's Liberal leadership battle which topped Malcolm Turnbull as prime minister.
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said: "What was so special about this French au pair".
Details of the second case, which emerged on Thursday, involved a man who, according to The Australian, worked with Mr Dutton when he was an officer in the Queensland Police Services in the 1990s.
As a minister, Mr Dutton cannot be compelled to appear before next Wednesday's Senate committee inquiry, but senior public servants are expected to be on the witness list.