FOI Shows Dutton's Folders Didn't Contain Dirt On Labor Foes

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton bounded into parliament with two bulky folders he claimed were full of classified information on his Labor foes.

Under immense pressure over his role in the European au pair visa affair, Dutton brandished a pair of large folders labelled "Tony Burke" and "Chris Bowen" during Question Time in early September.

The folders were widely seen as a warning shot; the implication being Dutton was prepared to dish dirt on visa decisions both men made as immigration ministers in the former Labor government.

Minister for Home Affairs Peter Dutton claimed the folders contained classified information on his political foes. (AAP Image/Mick Tsikas)

Dutton carted the folders with him to the dispatch box while answering questions but refused to table them, claiming they contained confidential material.

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A freedom of information request, lodged by transparency website Right to Know, has confirmed the folders did not contain any information from Dutton's department.

Peter Dutton with the folders (Image AAP/Mick Tsikas)

"The department did not provide any documents to the Minister for Home Affairs for the specific purposes of inclusion in two folders, one marked "Tony Burke" and the other marked "Chris Bowen"," Home Affairs said in its response.

Dutton was asked at the time by Bowen, Labor's shadow treasurer, to table the folders. The minister refused, claiming they contained confidential information.

Dutton had previously criticised Bowen and Burke, Labor's former immigration minister, for their interventions in migration cases while Labor was in government.

Feature Image: AAP/Mick Tsikas