Home affairs minister Peter Dutton has issued another statement regarding his intervention in the case of a French au pair who faced deportation in 2015, insisting he didn’t move to overturn the decision because of her association with AFL boss Gillon McLachlan or a prominent Liberal Party donor.
Speaking to 2GB this morning, Dutton said he did act to get 27-year-old Alexandra Deuwel out of detention, but did so only because the circumstances of her case seemed particularly iffy.
“I looked at it and thought it’s a bit rough, there’s no criminal history, she’s agreed that she wouldn’t work” Dutton said, adding that he is not aware she ever committed any visa violations.
The Guardian revealed yesterday that Deuwel’s case came to Dutton’s attention in 2015 after a staffer for McLachlan directly contacted the minister’s office with a request for help.
Deuzel was detained at Adelaide International Airport after travelling to Australia on a tourist visa with the stated intention of visiting Callum and Skye Maclachlan, a family she had previously worked for as an au pair.
The Maclachlan family and Gillon McLachlan are related, which has lead to concern Dutton allegedly overturned Deuwel’s visa cancellation as a favour to a powerful public figure. There’s also the fact that Callum’s father Hugh Maclachlan has donated around $150,000 to the Liberal Party on a state and federal level since 1999.
Dutton strenuously denied any conflicts of interest this morning, and said he routinely lends a hand to visitors “caught up by a bureaucratic anomaly.”
This entire drama comes amid concern over Dutton’s personal interference in the cases of two other au pairs in 2015, which remain largely unexplained. That lack of clarity is what birthed the sincere “What’s the go with the au pairs” meme you’ve likely seen plastered all over Twitter.
└???? AU PAIRS
└???? THE GO WITH THEM
└ FILE NOT FOUND
— Steve Smith (@stevesmithffx) August 29, 2018
To All The Au Pairs For Whom The Go Is Unknown
— Rae Johnston (@raejohnston) August 29, 2018
and you may find yourself in a beautiful house
with a beautiful wife
and you may ask yourself, well
what's the go re: au pairs?
— Tiger Webb (@tfswebb) August 29, 2018
All of this is backdropped by the fact that Dutton’s office personally granted leniency to those three au pairs while also continuing the federal government’s policy of shuffling young asylum seekers into offshore detention centres, which are routinely damned by international authorities as uniquely cruel and inhumane.
But, you know, the au pairs had it “a bit rough”.
A Senate enquiry on the situation is due to report back next month, so hold out for that one.Source: Sunraysia Daily
Image: Mick Tsikas / AAP Images