Dutton slams ‘completely ridiculous’ visa claim

Peter Dutton denies he breached ministerial standards. Picture: Richard Waugh/AAP

PETER Dutton reportedly intervened in a third au pair case in 2015 to allow a woman to enter Australia after her tourist visa was cancelled.

The former home affairs minister is already under scrutiny for his decision to grant visas to two other foreign au pairs in 2015.

The latest case, unearthed by The Guardian, involves a French woman who was detained at Adelaide’s international airport in October 2015.

Mr Dutton intervened to allow the woman to enter the country on a tourist visa on the condition that she not undertake any paid work, The Guardian reported.

In a statement released this afternoon, Mr Dutton said all of the article’s claims had been “proven false” and the allegation he’d been dishing out favours was “completely ridiculous”.

“Ministers for Immigration receive, annually, hundreds of representation on individual migration matters,” Mr Dutton said.

Referring to the “long standing intervention powers” he was given as the home affairs minister, Mr Dutton said he “considers cases on their merits”.

“Any suggestion cases are determined on any other basis, including whether I knew the individual who referred the matter is completely ridiculous”.

“There is an administrative process to be followed and it has been followed in every instance,” Mr Dutton ended.

The woman’s previous visa was reportedly cancelled at the border because of suspicions she intended to work as she had previously been warned about the conditions of her visa during an earlier visit to Australia.

Mr Dutton acted on the case after his office was contacted by AFL chief executive officer Gillon McLachlan.

The woman had previously worked for Mr McLachlan’s relatives and was reportedly returning to visit them.

Peter Dutton denies he breached ministerial standards. Picture: Richard Waugh/AAP

Peter Dutton denies he breached ministerial standards. Picture: Richard Waugh/AAPSource:News Corp Australia

Earlier this month, Labor referred two earlier cases to the upper house’s legal and constitutional affairs committee for a parliamentary inquiry, which is due to report on September 11.

In the first case, an au pair whose visa was cancelled at Brisbane’s international airport in June 2015 was able to make a phone call, and within a couple of hours, Mr Dutton, as immigration minister, approved a new visa using his ministerial discretion powers.

In November the same year, Mr Dutton granted a visitor visa to a second au pair. Mr Dutton said he didn’t know the two individuals involved and they didn’t work for his family.

He has denied the decision breached ministerial standards.

The inquiry will look into allegations concerning the inappropriate exercise of ministerial powers.

Labor senator Louise Pratt said she was hopeful the inquiry would answer questions about this matter properly answered.

“Previous questions asked in estimates have not got to the bottom of whether Minister Dutton’s use of ministerial intervention powers, with respect to the visa status of two au pairs, were exercised appropriately,” Senator Pratt told AAP.

— With AAP

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