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Crikey Says

Jan 11, 2016

Time for Dutton to go

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton should resign. Not because of the news over the Christmas break that he accidentally sent a text message deriding a journalist as a "mad fucking wit


Immigration Minister Peter Dutton should resign.

Not because of the news over the Christmas break that he accidentally sent a text message deriding a journalist as a “mad fucking witch” simply for doing her job, although that — like the boom mic incident — was an insight into what language the minister believes is privately acceptable to use.

No, Dutton should resign because of his treatment of another woman– the 23-year-old Somali asylum seeker known as Abyan. The government’s mishandling of Abyan’s health and well-being after she became pregnant on Nauru is well documented. Abyan was seeking a termination of her pregnancy in September, but she wasn’t brought into Australia until early October. Late one night, less than a week after she was brought to Australia, she was whisked back to Nauru on a private charter for $115,000, with Dutton claiming Abyan had made a decision not to proceed with the termination. He made the claim in a number of interviews, in door stops, and in Parliament:

“The lady, following the consultations, provided advice that she did not wish to proceed with the termination and, as a result, was then chartered from Australia back to Nauru.”

But documents obtained under freedom of information by human rights lawyer Kellie Tranter published over the break revealed that Dutton misled the public in that claim. Emails show that on October 15, shortly before Abyan was returned to Nauru, officials made it clear that while Abyan had declined a termination at that point, “she did make it clear that she hasn’t completely changed her mind”.

Rather than waiting until Abyan was healthy and fit enough to make a firm decision on terminating the pregnancy, the government hurried her back to Nauru because, in the words of Neil Skill, the first assistant secretary for the Immigration Department, they believed Abyan’s lawyer was “buying time so he can seek legal intervention” to keep Abyan in Australia permanently.

That an Australian government agency would seek to evade the Australian court system is bad enough, but to risk the health and well-being of an asylum seeker is an outrage. Dutton should resign, or Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull should sack him in his expected early year reshuffle.


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8 thoughts on “Time for Dutton to go

  1. wayne robinson

    It is intolerable that Cornelius Fudge should remain a minister and his spokesperson Dolores Umbridge should still have a job. No wait – they’re not the right names are they?

  2. klewso

    Who else would hire him?

  3. AR

    klewi – Qld wallopers – he “did well” with, rising to..the surface of the cess-pit.
    The only explanation for Dunnuttin’s continued presence in the Ministry (NB but not Cabinet!)is as Javelin Catcher – like hanging around with ugly friends to benefit from the contrast.
    Odd decision of the gifted SilverMal.

  4. Marilyn Shepherd

    Every immigration minister for decades has been scum, apart from possibly Chris Evans who tried to clean up Howard’s disasters.

    Instead our stupid media across the board allow the ALP to claim that not being cruel enough was their real problem and so the LNP get away with being even crueller.

    Morrison did not quit after the murder of Reza Berati, why would Dutton be sacked over the life of Abyan, she’s just a black refugee after all.

  5. grubbidok

    IMHO Turnbull is even more to blame as not only does he show he thinks these actions are legitimate by keeping Dutton around, but he also has the gall to promote his small-l liberal cred while doing it.

    Say what you will about Dutton, at least he’s honest enough to acknowledge he’s an a***hole (see actions during the Apology) and not speaking out of both sides of his mouth.

  6. David Hand

    So the year outrage begins in Crikey. There will be plenty to be outraged about as the year gets underway. I expect breathless demands for sackings, royal commissions, inquiries, Senate investigations etc. etc. about a vast array of issues the left think it’s smart to be outraged about.

    The common theme in it all will be that Coalition supporters and representatives are evil. Morally bankrupt. Undeserving of an opinion because any such opinion is completely without merit and must not see the light of day. Selfish. Greedy. Deserving of contempt.

    The first effort is pretty weak however. Calling for Dutton’s sacking over a statement that remains factually correct in spite of all the histrionics to the contrary by the asylum seeker set doesn’t seem smart to me. Hey, you may not like him much. For what it’s worth I don’t like him either but there is absolutely nothing to this notion that he misled parliament. And I’ve spent an hour reading all the FOI stuff put up by Kellie Trantor and it is unequivocal that after being brought to Australia for the termination, Abyan decided not to go through with it. That’s not to deny her the opportunity in the future of course but she declined to have it that week or the following week.

    Abyan has now disappeared completely from the media since October. The is absolutely no information about whether she has gone through with the pregnancy or gone ahead with the termination. It would be awkward for the outraged left if she is still pregnant so my money is on her never having the termination.

    Perhaps that’s why we haven’t heard.

  7. graybul

    The Prime Minister’s anticipated Cabinet reshuffle should reveal far more than Minister Dutton’s future employment. If we are to have a reshuffle in preparation for an Election one would reasonably expect the PM to finally commit to revealing his true agenda i.e. as at the present a hybrid Abbott value base or, a Cabinet selection truly reflective of his own values.

    A straight out test of whether his choices reflect that he is listening to the people; is more focussed upon surviving i.e. a National Party under a new leader; or evidence his personal integrity extends beyond words to actions in re-establishing an equitable and truly “fair go” Australia?

  8. Guest

    He should stay. Australians voted for the liberals, and even though Tony Abbott has always been ineligible to be an MP, let alone a PM, it was what Australia voted for. Now Turnbull is in, he should be allowed to continue Abbotts destruction of the country, and his support of all the dysfunctional ministers he inherited.

    The LNP should be allowed to cause as much pain and misery as possible, otherwise, the idiots that voted for them will never learn, and could possibly, even vote for them again.


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