If ever there was an argument for a proper Federal ICAC, it is the Minister for Home Affairs, Peter Dutton.
Especially after Monday night, when a joint ABC Four Corners / Fairfax investigation revealed:
Chinese Communist Party-aligned billionaire Huang Xiangmo paid tens of thousands of dollars to a former Liberal minister to secure a one-on-one meeting with Peter Dutton as Mr Huang mounted a back-room campaign to win Australian citizenship.
Huang is the same Chinese Communist Party-aligned billionaire that Labor Senator Sam Dastyari lost his job over in 2017, after asking him to pay a travel bill of $1,670.82.
Huang ultimately did not receive an Australian passport — but only after ASIO intervened, warning strongly against it. However, Dutton did grant passports to Huang’s wife and two children, who now run his business interests in Australia. Indeed, Dutton expedited this process, allowing the pair a private citizenship ceremony. Citizenship ceremonies are almost always held in public, and private ceremonies are usually only granted for applicants who are ill or have urgent needs. Huang’s family were neither.
Dutton explained his decision to grant the “special purpose” ceremony was because it was requested by the same Senator Dastyari.
The full Four Corners show - mostly dealing with China's interference in Australia - is pretty wild. https://t.co/qSXrJj0t9f— Matt Nippert (@MattNippert) April 8, 2019
Yet in 2017, Minister Dutton called for Dastyari to resign over his links to the “Chinese Communist Party”.
Indeed, in a doorstop interview on 11 December 2017, he even called Dastyari a Chinese “double-agent” [IA emphasis]:
I note this morning that Linda Burney has come out calling for Mr Daystyari to go and he should go. Sam Daystyari can’t be beholden to a foreign power and pretend to be acting in the Australian public’s interest by being a senator in the Australian Parliament.
…. Sam Dastyari is a double agent and he can't be in the Australian Senate and it is important that Linda Burney has called him out, has called for him to go and now Bill Shorten should do the same.
Yet, in a remarkable intervention yesterday, former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull suggested Dutton’s deeds were worse than what Dastyari did, since Dutton is the relevant minister [IA emphasis]:
I think that [Dutton’s actions compare] very significantly to that of the Labor Party where Senator Sam Dastyari had to resign in disgrace….
He is supposed to be the minister responsible for the domestic security of Australia, he is supposed to be the minister responsible for ensuring our politics is not influenced by foreign actors.
The idea that the minister responsible for enforcing those laws has had a meeting of this kind raises a lot of questions, but Peter Dutton is the only one that can answer them…
Turnbull went on to say that the current Prime Minister cannot brush this under the carpet:
Remember the furore that arose against [former Labor Senator] Sam Dastyari … all the same issues have risen again.
Scott Morrison is the Prime Minister and you can't wave this off and say that it is all part of gossip and of the bubble — this is the national security of Australia.”
#auspol— TOM IN OZ (@SirThomasWynne) April 9, 2019
Former PM TURNBULL has just thrown Peter Dutton and Scott Morrison under a bus.
Chinese influence issue must be dealt with as it's worse than the Dastyari affair.
BOOM !!! pic.twitter.com/aiwq4J9oyA
Prime Minister Scott Morrison then, of course, said the issue was just another example of the Canberra bubble, deflecting attention onto Dastyari’s ancient scandal.
Yet this is far from the first hint of corruption swirling around the former all-powerful Home Affairs Minister. Indeed, Independent Australia has been at the forefront of exposing his alleged corruption, especially through the exclusive revelations of detained migrant Nauroze Anees and investigations editor Ross Jones.
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Hi Hugh - you might be interested to know that we’ve published the leaked audio of Border Force officials telling the whistleblower, Nauroze Anees, he will be deported just a few hours after his claims of “bribes for visas” first hit the mainstream media.https://t.co/ZV16YElj8H— Serkan Öztürk 🇦🇺 🇹🇷 🌏 💻 📰 (@SerkanTheWriter) February 20, 2019