THE HON PETER DUTTON MP
LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
FEDERAL MEMBER FOR DICKSON
INTERVIEW WITH RAY HADLEY,
RAY HADLEY MORNING SHOW, RADIO 2GB
30 November 2023
Subjects: Labor’s immigration detention chaos; the Prime Minister’s lack of leadership; Labor’s cost of living crisis; Chris Bowen’s incompetence.
Every Thursday I speak to the Leader of the Federal Opposition, Peter Dutton.
I want to repeat what I said in the first hour of the program: in over 30 years of covering politics, I have never witnessed a more despicable or disgraceful political attack by the Labor Prime Minister. I lay this at his feet and his office.
Anika Wells, the attack dog, went on the Today program this morning, under parliamentary privilege Clare O’Neil called Peter Dutton – a former distinguished police officer who spent a lot of his time protecting children – as a protector of paedophiles. That was repeated on national TV this morning by Anika Wells.
It beggars belief that someone would say that and be so stupid to say it. And it’s born out of desperation, and obviously driven by the Prime Minister who let various attack dogs off the leash – headed by Anika Wells, who’s the Minister for Sport, and was interrogated by my colleague Chris O’Keefe, moderated by Karl Stefanovic. But I just want to play something while I’ve got Peter Dutton waiting online to give you some sort of understanding of how the Minister for Sport wouldn’t know her whatchamacallit from her elbow.
This whole mess that we’re facing and trying to clean up now didn’t start a couple of weeks ago when the High Court decision was handed down, it started a couple of years ago when Peter Dutton was the Minister responsible and made a decision to allow NZYQ to apply for a visa instead of deporting him.
Well, as I said, the paedophile in question who had sexually assaulted a 10 year old boy is stateless. He’s from Rohingya, and as such, he’s denied citizenship in Myanmar. What about that doesn’t this woman understand?
Peter Dutton’s on the line. Good morning to you.
Good morning Ray.
I know you’ve got a thick skin, but even allowing for that thick skin, I can’t believe you wouldn’t be impacted by what’s been said – both in Parliament, outside of Parliament – by the Government.
Well, of course you’re impacted by it because it’s the complete opposite of the truth.
I think the Government’s showing now that they’re really getting desperate, and as you say, Ministers like Anika Wells, or Matt Thistlethwaite, Clare O’Neil, don’t go out and make these sort of claims without the authority of the Prime Minister – so he hasn’t had the guts to say the things that he’s sent the other Ministers out to say – and I think that reflects on the Ministers and the Prime Minister more than it does me.
A couple of points Ray; I mean the argument is that we wanted to vote against a bill in the Parliament. The reason we wanted to vote against it was because we had proposed tighter restrictions in the bill and that we didn’t think the bill should be passed until the Government beefed it up. You remember last week, or the last sitting week, the Government completely botched their efforts to try and deal with these people, they’ve now let some of them into the community without ankle bracelets on, they had this one missing person, they didn’t know where that person is, they’ve now located him.
The High Court case that they’re talking about – when we’ve seen the reasons, now that the written reasons have been handed down by the High Court for their judgement – as it turns out, the Minister conceded a point which has given rise to all of this and the decision from the High Court to release this individual. This is the most frustrating part for a lot of Australians who are worried about the fact that all these criminals are now out in the community; as it turns out, the Government never needed to concede that point. The High Court wouldn’t have found the way they did, the first individual NZYQ wouldn’t have been released, and the Government itself, as it turns out, has made a decision in relation to the other 140 odd, to release them into the community, when there was no need to do so. So, no wonder they’re panicking, and this is a complete and utter disaster.
So the personal attacks, yes, they hurt, but they don’t mean anything to me because it’s the complete opposite of who I am or what I believe, and I think most of your listeners know me well enough and my history well enough to know that this is a desperate Prime Minister running out of options and he’s in real trouble.
Michael Pelly, writing in the Australian Financial Review yesterday, pointed to the fact that in the written judgement, Justices Jagot and Gleeson, the two female High Court Judges, must have had some, I guess, regrets about all of this because they basically said, look, ‘we really shouldn’t be announcing this in a 60 minute time frame’ – and I’m paraphrasing what they said – ‘we should wait until we’ve written the judgement down and see what happens then’. So even though they say it was unanimous, there were two high court judges who thought the haste was a mistake.
Well, I think it’s not the only mistake is the point. The Government had a heads up on this from the High Court in June that they had concerns. They had ample opportunity to deal with it between June and November, they didn’t do it. Don’t forget, they were running around in the last week of Parliament saying ‘we can’t out-legislate the high court’, ‘we can’t do anything’, ‘these people have just got to be released into the community’. We ended up drafting amendments ourselves to try and keep these paedophiles in and to try and keep the rapists off the streets. The Government ended up conceding those points and supporting our amendments, and we’ve got further changes to tighten it up, which is what’s in debate at the moment. The Government going out there saying, ‘oh, well he doesn’t support this proposal that we’ve got around paedophiles’, well actually, we’re proposing to make it tougher and we didn’t believe the bill should be passed until they picked up the points that we were making. So it just makes a mockery of what they’re out there saying.
I mean the Prime Minister in the Parliament himself has praised me in the past for setting up the Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation, which has literally saved thousands of kids from paedophiles, I’ve arrested sex offenders before, it’s one of my life’s passions to make sure that women and kids are safe, and I feel very genuinely and deeply about it, done a lot of work with the Morcombe Foundation and others over time, and I think I’m owed an apology from Anika Wells and the Prime Minister, but we’ll see if they’re big enough to make that apology.
Well, she was given ample opportunity by Karl Stefanovic, as you’re about to hear in the piece this morning with my colleague Chris O’Keefe:
Today, a released immigration detainee who was at large in the community has now been found. This comes as the Government desperately tries to regain some political momentum after facing a barrage of attacks from the Opposition.
For more, let’s bring in Minister for Sport and Aged Care Anika Wells and 2GB’s Chris O’Keefe. Morning, guys. Nice to see you this morning.
Okay, Anika, you first up, the Home Affairs Minister has accused Peter Dutton of being a ‘protector of paedophiles’. Do you agree with that?
Yes, And not only that, but this whole mess that we’re facing and trying to clean up now didn’t start a couple of weeks ago when the high court decision was handed down, It started a couple of years ago when Peter Dutton was the Minister responsible and made a decision to allow NZYQ to apply for a visa instead of deporting him. And that set in train everything that’s followed through to the court case which has resulted in that High Court decision that we’re scrambling to fix up through Parliament now.
Alright, so you’re standing by the statement that ‘Peter Dutton is a protector of paedophiles’ this morning.
Peter Dutton did not support laws that we brought in earlier this week to make it a criminal offence for convicted paedophiles to go near schools.
Have you ever seen anything more pathetic in your life than what Anika is saying right now? She’s a Minister of the Crown and she’s calling the Leader of the Opposition a ‘protector of paedophiles’. The guy was a police officer. What have you done?
The guy walked into Parliament earlier this week and voted against rules that would make it a criminal offence for convicted paedophiles to go near schools.
So, Peter Dutton, she wasn’t reading from the cue card that was given to her obviously by someone who knows a lot more about this than she does, and she’s completely got – if you’ll pardon the expression – arse about face. She doesn’t understand the process, she doesn’t understand how it happened, she doesn’t understand that this fellow that took the case to the High Court couldn’t go back where he came from because he’s stateless. She doesn’t understand the process obviously, which is understandable, she’s a Sports Minister.
Well, the other thing, look, she’s just been sent out there with a script to read and unfortunately, she couldn’t follow it. So, that’s probably a bit embarrassing, but not surprising.
Ray, the fact is that in relation to paedophiles being excluded from school zones, they’re amendments that we moved – this goes back to my earlier point: when this bill was first brought before the House a couple of weeks ago, after the High Court decision, when the Home Affairs Minister said there was nothing that could be done, we were the ones who moved the amendment to exclude paedophiles who’d been released, from school zones and from childcare centres, etc. We were the movers of the amendment that said that they couldn’t contact rape victims and couldn’t contact victims where there had been a murder – the victims family. They’ve got it completely and utterly confused.
In relation to the case that’s before the High Court – known as NZYQ, and you’ve just detailed some of his story – but don’t forget that he arrived here on a boat in 2012. I think Chris Bowen or Tony Burke were probably the Minister at the time. So it’s one of those 30,000 or 50,000 I think, that arrived by boat, but one of those 30,000 people that that we inherited from Labor, people who were put into the community on bridging visas.
So, I kept this bloke in custody. He didn’t go out under my watch and I didn’t concede the point to the High Court that he couldn’t be returned back to his country of origin, which meant that there was no indefinite detention, and that’s the foolishness of the Immigration Minister’s position because he has conceded the point to the High Court that this person couldn’t be returned and therefore that’s what triggers the High Court to make their decision that because he’s stateless and couldn’t be returned back to his country of origin, he can’t be held indefinitely.
That’s the stuff up that the Government’s now presided over, so the Prime Minister’s got 140 with 300 odd more ready to go, to put out onto the street, it turns out that there was no need for them to make this decision.
Just if you remember on that day – because we spoke while this was all being debated – and you came on about this same time, and you’d put forward the amendments and you got shouted down and I think you said things along the lines, I said, ‘well, you know, it seems rather futile because they’re not going to agree to you’, and you said, ‘well, you’ve got to try to do something, you can’t just sit feebly by and let them do what they want to do’. And by the time we got to the afternoon, I get home, I turn on the news: ‘the Dutton proposal’s been accepted’. It was quite remarkable because you weren’t confident at half past 10 in the morning they were going to accept it.
No, but I think in the end it was probably lucky that Richard Marles, who was the Acting Prime Minister – because the PM remember, was on another plane overseas – so I think it was lucky that Richard Marles was obviously a listener of the Ray Hadley Morning Show, and he contacted me after that to say, ‘okay, well we’re happy to sit down and negotiate now’, and we did that. We got those extra provisions put in and we’re doing the same in relation to the Citizenship bill that’s before the Parliament.
This is a bill the Government’s brought on with urgency this week, again, just to try and look tough on law and order and try and make up for their mistakes. There’s no case before the court, there’s no urgency to it, but we’ve amended or put amendments forward to that bill and we’ll see whether the Government agrees to it, because we include citizenship loss for people who have been convicted of child sex offences and extraterritorial murder of Australians overseas, etc.. So, we’ll see whether the Government supports that, because again, they’ve put forward a flawed bill. They just don’t have any clue when it comes to national security and keeping our country safe. That much is clear.
Now, David Van. We hear – as of yesterday – that he’s assisted Tanya Plibersek to get the buyback in the Murray-Darling Basin through, with the help of the Greens, of course. Now Lidia Thorpe, who I don’t normally agree with, is jumping up and down, given there is an investigation into his behaviour with two women: Lidia Thorpe and Amanda Stoker, the former Liberal Assistant Minister. But it’s a funny old world when a fervent, a fervent supporter of women’s causes in Tanya Plibersek is bending over backwards, sideways and forwards, to accommodate a bloke who has a big question mark over him about the treatment of women.
Well, Senator Van’s got an investigation that’s still ongoing in relation to a number of complaints, as I understand it, and that’ll be a matter for that authority to report, but they’re serious allegations as I understand, and Tanya Plibersek’s happy to ignore all of that, and all of the criticisms of Morrison Government and standing up in relation to matters that have been before the court, etc.. But I don’t know, I mean it shows the character of some of these people.
I think the wheels are falling off this Government and quickly, and I think you can see it in the faces and the expressions on some of the backbench Members who just are literally shaking their heads as some of these Ministers are unravelling the Government. I don’t think the Prime Minister has a clue. I haven’t seen this a level of dysfunction in a Government since Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard’s period.
Well, it’s funny, I mentioned yesterday in conversations the day before with Dennis Shanahan – who’s written a really good piece about this attack on you today. But when you’ve got people like Simon Benson, Geoff Chalmers (*Chambers) and David Crowe and probably a shock jock like me saying the same thing, that this Government is really teetering on the brink, well, you know, you’ve got a bit of a problem. You’ve got one from the Herald, two from The Australian and one from Nine Radio singing from the same hymn sheet.
Yeah, and I tell you the other thing too Ray – and this is sort of going under the radar at the moment – but they’ve just spent $450 million wasted on the Voice Referendum; they’re spending $250 million on monitoring these criminals that they’ve released into the community – when it turns out they didn’t need to release them – so that’s up to $700 million. They’ve now got a proposal to increase the number of Members and Senators – so to increase the size of the Parliament – which will come at a cost of hundreds of millions of dollars, at a time when families are out working second and third jobs to pay their mortgage and pay their bills, the Prime Minister’s talking about having more Senators and more MPs. And you’ve got this report today where 60 per cent of public servants won’t return back to work and the unions are in lockstep with this Government, in making sure they’re not made to go back to work.
So, the PM’s got so many fronts open at the moment, it’s not funny, but completely clueless as to what to do.
Now, it’ll be a big hot air balloon for Casanova Bowen and 48 other people travelling to Dubai, because obviously they wouldn’t go in a jet fuel aircraft because that would be countering what they are trying to achieve in Dubai, in the Middle East.
Well, I presume he’s going to start swimming soon because you’ve got to get there by next week, or get the canoe out, or he’s probably got an old people smuggling boat that he might be able to rack up and get the oars out and head off, but surely, surely he wouldn’t be incurring all those emissions.
You know how you failed me in reference to ol’ mate Casanova.
Yeah, I have let you down, I’m sorry.
So I know you’ll let me down, but Senator Hollie Hughes hasn’t. Have a listen:
I mean, we’ve got Minister Bowen – the Casanova of the Parliament. He was Mr Pink Batts, and now, somehow or other, Casanova Bowen’s in charge of the greatest transformation of our energy grid.
She slipped it into Hansard, it’s there!
It’s there for all time.
It’s there for all time. He’s referred to as Casanova Bowen for all time.
Now, it’s been a pretty ordinary day, and I do mean that sincerely, and as I said, I do mean it. I think it’s one of the most despicable and disgraceful attacks on an individual I’ve seen for a long time. But I want to try and put a smile on your face. Okay?
Okay, just have a listen to this.
Albo’s toes are nowhere man, his Government’s in La la land, making all these stupid plans, that helps nobody.
He doesn’t seem to have a clue that the general public’s got the poos, they’re really sick of how we waste so much money.
Albo, man, please listen.
You don’t know what you’re doing.
Albo, man, please get rid of Chris Bowen.
He’s as mad as you can be.
We can’t afford our electricity.
Albo, man, do you hear us at all?
Albo, man, don’t worry about the immigration detention policy, release them all, and get Clare O’Neil to lend you a hand.
Albo’s not a leader man, Peter Dutton must be high fiving.
Albo’s making renewable plans that helps nobody.
Making all these ‘wokey’ plans for nobody.
Making all these greedy plans for nobody.
I’ll give you that as a ringtone, if you want?
Mate, thank you. That’s the highlight of my day so far. Thank the boys, they’ve done very well, and that sums him up.
Thank you, Peter Dutton, Federal Opposition Leader, talk next week.
Thanks mate. Take care.