Immigration Minister Peter Dutton Photo: Alex EllinghausenDutton should consider resigning: Greens
Political hatchet jobs don’t get much nastier, or undignified, or unqualified, than the one Peter Dutton attempted on Gillian Triggs and Sarah Hanson-Young last Friday. Or more baseless.
This was how I began a column in June after the Immigration Minister launched a scathing attack on the president of the Human Rights Commission and the Greens senator from South Australia.
In both cases, the minister went off half-cocked and was wrong. In the case of Professor Triggs, he claimed she had made “outrageous” and “unfounded statements” linking the execution of two Australians in Bali to the government’s success in stopping the boats. In fact, she had done no such thing.
In the case of Senator Hanson-Young, he was responding to a report in Fairfax Media that she had been the target of secret surveillance operation during a visit to the Australian-run detention centre on Nauru.
A former security guard had outlined the alleged operation, code-named Raven, in a submission to a Senate inquiry and Wilson Security – the company contracted to guard the detainees – had confirmed that “individuals” had been disciplined for “acting beyond their brief”.
When Mr Dutton was asked to comment, he described the story as “complete nonsense”, branding Hanson-Young “an embarrassment to our country”.
“I challenge the media, frankly, to go back and look at some of the claims that Senator Hanson-Young’s made over the last couple of years and look at what’s been substantiated,” he added. “Most of it is attention seeking. Ultimately, in the end, she’s wrong and that’s, I think, more of a reflection on her than anybody else.”
It was Senator Hanson-Young who went public with allegations of sexual abuse by security guards at the Nauru centre last year that led to the Moss inquiry that reported in March.
It found evidence of rape inside the centre, sexual assault of minors and guards trading marijuana for sexual favours from female detainees, vindicating Senator Hanson-Young.
Now, it has been alleged that the covert spying on Senator Hanson-Young on Nauru was far more extensive that initially reported, continuing throughout her three-day visit and including filming her in her hotel room.
The allegations should be thoroughly investigated and the minister should deliver the senator a belated apology. But don’t hold your breath.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.