Senate inquiry finds Peter Dutton mislead Parliament on au pairs

Senate inquiry finds Peter Dutton mislead Parliament on au pairs
Home Affairs Minister, Peter Dutton. Photo by Dimitris Avramopoulos via Wikimedia Commons

A majority Labor/Greens Senate inquiry has found that Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton did mislead parliament regarding the au pairs scandal.

This comes despite Mr Dutton insisting that he did not mislead Parliament in any way.

However, Prime Minister Scott Morrison is standing behind Mr Dutton, saying that he has total confidence in his Home Affairs Minister despite calls from Labor for him to be sacked.

In a TV interview, Mr Morrison said that while Labor was “about stopping au pairs” that his Government was about “stopping boats, criminals and bikie gangs”.

He then proceeded to mock Labor’s concern regarding the au pairs scandal, saying that the worst an au pair would do to Australians is read them a bedtime story. He added that “that tells you everything you need to know about their views on national security”.

The Senate inquiry examined two incidents where Mr Dutton used his authority as the Home Affairs Minister to intervene on behalf of two au pairs who were on a tourist visa but wanted to work in Australia.

The first case, in June 2015, involved one of Mr Dutton’s former colleagues from the Queensland Police Force asking the Home Affairs Minister for assistance with an Italian au pair that was being detained at Brisbane airport.

A similar case occurred in November 2015, where Mr Dutton was contacted by AFL boss Gillon McLachlan for assistance regarding a French au pair detained at Adelaide airport.

The Senate committee’s report found that Mr Dutton “had a clear personal connection and existing relationship” with the former police officer who was intending to employ the Brisbane au pair.

It also found that “given his definitive answer in the House of Representatives” that “the Minister misled Parliament”.

The Greens are expected to raise a vote of no confidence in Mr Dutton during Parliament question time today.