Dutton Ignored His Own Department’s Advice Not To Interfere In Au Pair Drama

The au pair scandal surrounding home affairs minister Peter Dutton just got even spicier, after the release of leaked emails showing that his own department advised against his intervention in a visitor’s deportation in 2015.

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In case you missed it, Dutton has been copping flak for personally overturning the planned deportation of 27-year-old French national Alexandra Deuwel in 2015.

She was detained at Adelaide International Airport in October that year, after saying she planned to work on the Maclachlan family property in exchange for room and board. Deuwel had previously worked for the Barossa Valley-based Maclachlans as an au pair.

Officials at the airport decided her intentions violated the conditions of her tourist visa. The Maclahlans disagreed. They contacted Callum Maclachlan’s second cousin, AFL chief Gillon McLachlan, whose office then reached out to Dutton’s to see if he could intervene.

And intervene he did. Dutton overturned the decision to deport Deuwel, granting her a three-month tourist visa and advising her not to work during her stay.

Now, previously unseen emails leaked to Labor senator Kimberley Kitching and subsequently published in the media show that senior Australian Border Force personnel advised against Deuwel’s deportation being overruled.

The ABC reports Assistant Commissioner of Strategic Border Command Clive Murray told Dutton’s office that Deuwel had been spoken to previously regarding concerns she could violate her visa agreement.

Murray added the department could be on the hook financially for calling off the deportation as “the airline has been formally served,” and added that their officials “will be providing detail which does not support the Minister intervening.”

Earlier, Dutton came under scrutiny for the pardon due to the fact Callum Maclachlan’s father, Hugh Maclachlan, has been a bigtime donor to state and federal branches of the Liberal Party for nearly 20 years.

Still, Dutton today said his decision to intervene in this au pair drama – one of three known cases where his office meddled with an au pair’s deportation under interesting circumstances – was par for the course.

Again, we must stress all of this went down while Dutton propped up an asylum seeker policy which funnelled vulnerable refugees into offshore detention camps known worldwide for their unique brutality.

Kitching has called on Dutton to face up to the new revelations. We’ll see if that comes to pass.