10 December, 2015
Subject: Operation Appleby, Abdullah Elmir, Ashley Dyball, Tony Abbott’s comments on Islam, Gerard Baden-Clay
E & EO Transcript
JOURNALIST: Minister, good morning to you.
PETER DUTTON: Good morning Ray.
JOURNALIST: Now, you obviously as Acting Justice Minister would be across this.
They’ve got a 15 year old in custody and another person, as yet no age, also being questioned.
PETER DUTTON: Ah Ray, as you say, it’s a continuation of Operation Appleby.
The AFP has obviously been doing some amazing work in tracking down people that may be a threat to us and that operation is underway at the moment.
So, as you say, they’ll make a statement within the next hour and they’ll provide more detail at that point.
JOURNALIST: A report on the front page of The Australian today that this youngster from Bankstown, Abdullah Elmir, who’s known as the ‘ginger jihadist’ because of his long red hair, was apparently killed in a bombing raid eight to ten week ago. I guess they got the information from inside security services.
Do you have any confirmation of that, or are we still guessing as to his death or otherwise?
PETER DUTTON: Mate we’re only just operating at the moment on the media speculation.
I don’t think anyone had mourned his loss. He was a particularly vicious character.
The message is to young people here that these guys should provide no inspiration to you at all.
There’s only two outcomes, as we’ve said – if you go to Syria you’re either killed in the theatre of war there or you come back to Australia and you destroy the life not only of you, but your family as well and you end up going to jail.
I mean what is the end game here? I mean what do they expect will happen or change by going to Syria?
So I think really the call again now is for any family members, people who are involved in community groups otherwise that see anybody acting suspiciously in this way – please contact the authorities.
JOURNALIST: In relation to that, a young bloke came back to Melbourne en route to Brisbane earlier this week, greeted by his family and many supporters, who allegedly went to fight against ISIS in that part of the world.
Questioned by the AFP for a number of hours, no charges followed. If we don’t charge the young bloke, and I’ve got a personal view about what we should do with that young bloke, which is shared by many who write to me.
If you don’t charge him, are we then leaving ourselves open to criticism that we charge a person who goes to fight for ISIS but we don’t charge a person who goes to fight against ISIS?
PETER DUTTON: Well Ray obviously the AFP will look at all of the evidence available in that case and they’ll make a decision whether they can prosecute or not.
The more general point that I think is a more important one is we need to recognise that our RAAF officers are involved in bombing, airstrikes, all of that activity that is being speculated on at the moment about what the next step might be to try and defeat ISIS.
If we have an Australian over there fighting in that theatre and that person is killed by a bombing raid conducted by the Royal Australian Air Force, think of the burden that puts on young Australian pilots and the airmen and women.
It’s just not a place for pretend soldiers to be. We’ve got professionally trained soldiers and it’s the case that some of these areas are prescribed, which means you can’t go there.
If people go there there’s a consequence to pay, regardless of whether they’re fighting for the right side or the wrong side. That’s the Australian law and people need to face up to it.
JOURNALIST: Now, there’s been widespread criticism by some sections of the media and some sections of left-wing social media about what Tony Abbott said last night and said earlier this week.
I went back to an interview he conducted with my colleague Steven Price a month ago actually where he said basically the same things he’s been saying – we need a hearts and minds campaign against extremist views which is cohesive in that the Australian Muslims join with non-Muslims to condemn all of that.
There seems to be a dislocate there where there isn’t enough criticism of these people from within Australia.
I went back and listened to what the Egyptian President said. A Muslim himself, it wasn’t different in either its language or the point being made to what Tony Abbott’s saying at the moment – that there needs to be, whether it’s kicking and screaming or not, a dragging of the religion and the zealots into this century, as opposed to the sort of practices where they stone people and kill people and there’s no rule of law.
If the, you know, if the Mufti in some particular place says, ‘no, get rid of him,’ he goes. You can’t be a homosexual, women’s rights are obliterated. There’s attacks on children that are commonplace. Paedophilia in some sections of the Muslim community, minor sections, as it is in the non-Muslim community, seems to pass without too much muster.
I’m loathe to criticise them, in light of the weak-kneed laws we have in Australia in relation to paedophiles.
If the former Prime Minister is saying exactly what the Egyptian President has said previously – why all the handwringing?
PETER DUTTON: Well Ray I just think you need to look at people’s motivation.
What’s Tony Abbott’s motivation? What’s my motivation in talking about these things?
We want to make sure that we can keep our country safe. In the end we want to secure our country against this evil threat.
I think he’s out there as a former Prime Minister he has the great interest continuing in this area. He was very strong on national security when he was a Prime Minister and he’s continuing to have an interest in that area.
I don’t think that that really musters criticism.
I think people need to look at what he’s said and I think what he’s said is sensible. I think he’s, as a Rhodes Scholar, somebody who’s thought very deeply about these issues.
I think most Australians would say, ‘look, we want to work with the Muslim community,’ which is what Tony Abbott’s saying. We want to make sure that our police and our intelligence authorities have good contacts into the communities.
All of us want that to continue, but it shouldn’t mean that we have some sort of no-go zone in talking about what is a significant problem for us in our country. We need to have the honesty to talk about so issues can be resolved.
JOURNALIST: See, an organisation I’ve had problems with in the past, because they’re the ones that appoint the Grand Mufti, the Australian National Imam’s Council say, ‘It’s unfortunate that some people in this country wish to tarnish the reputation of the entire Australian Muslim community based on the irreligious actions of a few. Any discourse which apportions blame by association or sensationalises violence to stigmatise a certain segment of society only undermines community harmony.’
Well in every speech I’ve seen Tony Abbott say he’s acknowledged the good work of decent Australian Muslims, but has warned them against not speaking out against the lunatics.
PETER DUTTON: Well I think the statement you just read out is frankly a red herring because Tony Abbott is not talking about all Muslims. I’m not talking about all Muslims.
We’re talking about people within the community who are subverting the religion in their attempts to justify what is murder.
If we know anything at the moment, there’s great scrutiny on the church’s religious activities and covering up, or allegations of covering up, paedophilic activity and the rest of it.
That scrutiny should be there because people, if they’re acting against the law, doesn’t matter whether they’re robed or not, they abide by Australian law.
The fact that we’re talking about those people, a slight minority within the Islamic community who want to do us harm, we need to talk about that.
We need to have good relations with the community, all of us are mindful of that.
But I think we compound the problems if we don’t talk about them.
That’s what President Obama has expressed. It’s what other Islamic leaders around the world have expressed.
I think we need to recognise that we do ourselves a disservice if we want to sweep this under the carpet.
It is a significant threat and, as you say, there are other issues; domestic violence, female genital mutilation.
All of these issues need to be spoken about and everybody should abide by the law.
JOURNALIST: Well domestic violence has been at the forefront of your home State this week.
I know that I’ve hounded on about Gerard Baden-Clay and I’m glad that Rosie Batty has finally said, and I’ve been saying it for months if not years, that the courts need to play a role here.
It’s no good having a White Ribbon Day on Thursday and then not putting someone who bashed a woman beyond recognition or murdered a woman beyond anyone’s belief away for a long, long time the next day.
We can have as many White Ribbon Days as we like, but if the hand-wringing judiciary aren’t prepared to actually stamp out this sort of violence, we’re all buggered. The same with paedophilia.
I mean in New South Wales, to balance the argument as opposed to the Queensland judiciary, up until recently if you had sex with a child under the age of 14 the average sentence was two years in prison.
PETER DUTTON: Crazy.
JOURNALIST: It’s madness.
Anyway, to another matter. The second family of Syrian refugees will be resettled in Australia, and they have been earlier this week.
I’ve had questions, and it keeps coming, about family reunion visas.
Will people that come, the 12,000 from Syria, be able to access that? Because the 12,000 turns into 20 which turns into 40 which turns into 60. That’s the most asked question I get from my listeners.
PETER DUTTON: The short answer is no, but if people become an Australian citizen they have the same rights as any Australian citizen.
JOURNALIST: Ok. So in the immediate future no, but in the distant future yes.
PETER DUTTON: Correct.
JOURNALIST: Now the other thing I wanted to ask you quickly about, we’ve got the innovation package announced by the Prime Minister, Mr Turnbull.
Two changes for your portfolio – Entrepreneur Visas and changes to retain high-achieving foreign students in Australia.
Look, I’ll tell you what I’m sick of, I’m sick of people anecdotally saying to me, ‘oh, those Chinese kids. Fair dinkum. I mean it’s just crook how they a special go and all.’
They work hard! They study! Why shouldn’t they get better marks than people who don’t work hard and study? I’ve had a gutful of that.
But will the Entrepreneur Visa be bought? Will that be something you can buy to get into the joint, or not?
PETER DUTTON: No, the way in which it will work, if you have a look at somebody like Steve Jobs or an entrepreneur, Mark Zuckerberg, the guy who set up Facebook, I mean these people wouldn’t get into Australia.
They haven’t got tertiary qualification in some cases, but we want them to come here and start a business and take a risk here and employ Australians – have the innovation here.
That’s very much what the Prime Minister is about and this new visa class will allow some of those people to come in that would have been knocked back before.
If they’re with financial backing for their plan, the business gets up, it’s a success, then we can help them become Australian citizens.
That’s the way, quickly, in which it will work.
JOURNALIST: Ok, I think my Queensland listeners, apart from anyone else, but Australia generally would want me to ask you and I didn’t give you the chance to answer – the decision by the appellate court to reduce it from murder to manslaughter in the case of the murder of Allison Baden-Clay.
As a Queenslander, as a former police officer, how did it impact on you when you heard about it?
PETER DUTTON: Well I just think Chris Dore in the Courier Mail got it dead right.
PETER DUTTON: Well, yesterday.
JOURNALIST: Yesterday and today.
PETER DUTTON: The law is an ass. Sorry to say it, but that’s the reality.
The judges should have independence, but they should reflect community views.
I mean nobody’s saying that there’s an investigation ongoing to find out who the killer was of Allison. I think the police believe they’ve pretty much got the bloke. There’s no sense that there’s somebody else out there wandering around killing other women in the Western Suburbs.
I think they’ve done the investigation and I think they’re pretty certain as to who killed this woman.
I feel for those poor girls and for Allison’s parents. They are to be dragged through this again.
This bloke if he had one shred of decency would stick his hand up, he would cop the consequences, admit to what he’s done - for the sake of his own daughters.
JOURNALIST: I mean the simple fact, well, you mention Chris Dore who’s coming to Sydney by the way to take over as the Editor of the Telegraph.
Chris yesterday did ‘The Law is an Ass’ and today he’s done a full page, which I shared with my listeners earlier, just outlining what a grub he is and that he should do exactly what you said – put his hand for the sense of decency, serve his time in jail and shut up. But he still hasn’t admitted he killed her see.
It’s alright for the lawyers to go there and offer some sort of hypothesis that this happened, but he’s still denying he did it.
He’s been sentenced to manslaughter on the basis that he did it unintentionally, by a Court of Appeal who absolutely have everyone. I mean bar a few QCs and SCs who say, ‘oh, tut-tut, this is the right decision, technically they’re right.’
I don’t give a bugger about technically. I want justice.
I’ve got to go. You’ve got to go.
I want to thank you for stumping up every Thursday, even when you’re in exotic locations in your position as Immigration Minister.
PETER DUTTON: Pleasure, mate.
JOURNALIST: You’ve brought in a styrofoam box. What’s in that?
PETER DUTTON: I’ve brought you a special gift from Gambaro’s in Brisbane. Every one of your 4BC listeners will know Gambaro’s is a great seafood restaurant.
This is a Queensland mud crab.
JOURNALIST: Oh. Let me have a look. I don’t whether I can share this.
Oh, the water’s hit the deck, but everything else is alright.
Do I have to declare this or anything? Have you got to declare it? Have either of us got to declare it?
Is there some sort of rule we’ve broken here collectively?
PETER DUTTON: I’ll be charged at some point, but you’ll be ok.
JOURNALIST: Listen, I’m glad you said - I want to be in a trench with you - you’ll be charged and I’ll be ok. Thanks. That’s the sort of bloke I like.
Minister, thanks for your time.
PETER DUTTON: Thanks for having us on and Merry Christmas to you mate, to your family and to all listeners. Great programme.
JOURNALIST: And same to your family.
We’ll look forward to your company the first week I come back, that will be the 18th of January. You’ll be here with me on that Thursday.
PETER DUTTON: Thanks, mate.