PM Morrison Invokes 'Pub Test' Over Dutton Au Pair Claims
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has invoked the "pub test" on claims Peter Dutton misused his ministerial powers to intervene in visa rejections for au pairs.
Mr Dutton is under growing pressure over revelations he granted European nannies visas when he held the immigration portfolio in 2015.
Mr Morrison has dismissed suggestions the home affairs minister misled parliament by intervening in an au pair case on behalf of a former Queensland Police colleague as a "furphy".
"If someone makes an application not even in the name of the person you worked with 20 years ago, and actually does it basically through the switchboard, that's what doesn't pass the pub test," Mr Morrison told reporters in Sydney on Sunday.
"The allegation that is being made, that somehow there was some relationship or knowledge, does not pass the pub test at all."
"If people want to say that every person that they may have worked with 20 years ago is now all of a sudden their best mate and they talk to each other every other day, well everyone knows that's rubbish."
In another case, Mr Dutton overruled advice from immigration authorities to grant a French woman a visa after being lobbied by AFL boss Gil McLachlan.
Mr Dutton has implied the deepening au pairs saga is political payback for his failed bid to become prime minister.
"I have helped sick children, people with disabilities, aged parents and many other cases - all where the department has advised me not to act," Mr Dutton told News Corp on Sunday.
"My opponents hate me because of my stance on border protection and this latest attack won't deter me one inch from continuing to do my job."
Labor frontbencher Clare O'Neil said the difference between Mr Dutton's attitude to people on Manus Island and Nauru and well-connected au pairs was stark.
"What it looks like is if you have Peter Dutton on speed dial or you're a Liberal Party donor, you'll get a different immigration outcome than the ordinary person," Ms O'Neil told the ABC on Sunday.
She said Mr Dutton had lied to parliament by saying he had no personal connection to the case concerning the Italian woman.
Labor leader Bill Shorten even roasted Mr Dutton on the issue in an address to the Queensland state Labor conference on Saturday.
"I mean seriously, what is the go with the au pairs?" he quipped.
"Who would have thought such an arch-conservative, inspiration to the Institute of Public Affairs, was secretly working towards a nanny state?"
The au pair visa issue will be examined by a Senate inquiry, which is due to hear evidence from department officials next week.