Deuwel Citizen: Peter Dutton Helped Au Pair Stay In Australia After Lobbying From AFL Boss
Peter Dutton intervened to stop the deportation of a French woman in 2015, it is reported.
Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton may have new questions to answer following revelations he personally intervened to stop the deportation of a third au pair.
Dutton, who's facing an upcoming Senate inquiry over his involvement in the cases of two au pairs, sought a briefing on the third after she arrived in Australia in November 2015, when she was detained for questioning.
The former Immigration Minister used his powers to grant French woman Alexandra Deuwel a tourist visa despite concerns she intended to work, after his office was lobbied by AFL boss Gil McLachlan, The Guardian reported on Tuesday.
Duewel worked as an au pair for Gil McLachlan's relatives Callum and Skye MacLachlan (this side of the family spells their surname differently) in 2015, and was visiting the family in South Australia.
However, Duewel had her tourist visa cancelled upon arrival in Australia, and was detained at Adelaide Airport when Border Force believed she was in the country to work.
Dutton's chief of staff, Craig McLachlan, was reportedly contacted by an AFL official over the issue.
A tourist visa was issued within 24 hours of Dutton being notified, under the proviso Deuwul did not take on paid work while in Australia.
"Discretionary and humanitarian act to an individual" were listed as the reasons Dutton gave for issuing the visa, in Freedom of Information documents released by the ABC.
“Having regard to this person’s particular circumstances and personal characteristics, I have decided to exercise my discretionary powers under section 195A of the (Migration) Act as it would be in the public interest to grant this person a visa," Dutton reasoned.
In a statement, Dutton said the suggestion he had contravened Ministerial Code of Conduct and made decisions to his personal and family's benefit "had been proven false".
"I consider cases on their merits. Any suggestions cases are determined on any other basis, including whether I knew the individual who referred the matter, is completely ridiculous," he said.
He also dismissed claims he was related to Gil McLachlan.
An AFL spokesperson for Gil McLachlan has previously said Duewel did not work as an au pair for him, The Guardian reported.
An AFL spokesperson told ten daily McLachlan had "not altered his position" on the matter, and there would be no further comment from the AFL or McLachlan.
More to come.