31 Jul Victoria in ‘fairyland’ on African gangs: Peter Dutton
Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has described Victoria as a “parallel universe” and “fairyland”, after there was a 70 per cent spike in complaints to the state’s Human Rights Commissioner over his comments about African gang violence.
Mr Dutton also slammed the New Zealand Justice Minister for criticising Australia’s policy of deporting New Zealand citizens who have committed crimes, and pledged to “sort out” the Administrative Appeals Tribunal after a series of decisions on migration cases which he says are unacceptable to the community.
In January, Mr Dutton said Victorians were “scared to go out to restaurants” because of “African gang violence”, following a spate of home invasions, car-jackings and violent burglaries involving youths of African descent.
The issue was reignited on Tuesday when Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull told a press conference in Melbourne that he was not personally frightened to go out to dinner in the Victorian capital, but that members of the public clearly were.
Mr Dutton said he agreed with Joint Standing Committee on Migration chair Jason Wood, a Victorian Liberal MP, who told The Australian this week he was concerned that victims of crimes by foreign nationals did not have their side of the story heard in AAT hearings.
“I think it’s a sensible suggestion, and Woody’s been on this issue for a while,” Mr Dutton told 2GB.
“He was one of the first people to call out this African gang violence, which in Victoria you’re not allowed to use those words.”
Asked whether the fact that Mr Turnbull had used the same words this week made him a “genius”, Mr Dutton said: “No, no. I’m a racist, and there’s been a 70 per cent spike in the number of complaints to the Human Rights Commissioner in Victoria because I called people involved in home invasions African gang members, even though they’re of African descent and they’re involved in gang activity in Victoria.”
“It’s like some parallel universe going on down there at the moment where you’re not allowed to refer to these people as ‘in gangs’. I mean it’s fairyland stuff,” Mr Dutton said.
Dutton slams New Zealand minister
Mr Dutton also slammed the New Zealand Justice Minister for criticising Australia’s policy of deporting New Zealand citizens who have committed crimes, saying Australia does a lot for New Zealand and he hopes Andrew Little does not repeat his remarks.
Mr Little told the ABC’s Foreign Correspondent that Australia was breaching human rights with its hard-line deportation policy.
Mr Dutton said Mr Little should be aware that there’s a lot Australia does for New Zealand.
“We’re a big land mass between them and boats coming from Indonesia and Southeast Asia,” Mr Dutton said.
“New Zealand don’t contribute really anything to the defence effort that we’ve got where we’re trying to surveil boats that might be on their way to New Zealand, so I hope that Andrew Little reflects a little more on the relationship between Australia and New Zealand where we do a lot of the heavy lifting, we intercept boats, we try to stop them making their way to New Zealand, and there’s a lot to this relationship and I was really disappointed in Mr Little’s comments during the week and I hope that he doesn’t repeat them.”
Lack of deportation powers for dual citizens ‘a deficiency in the law’
Mr Dutton said he could not have Adam Carey, a 49-year-old Queensland resident with 39 criminal convictions deported, because Mr Carey is a dual Australian and New Zealand citizen.
“This guy is a citizen. He’s not on a visa,” Mr Dutton said.
“In certain circumstances, in limited circumstances, I can strip citizenship from somebody who’s been naturalised, and the AAT can overturn my decision in that regard.
“Now I think it’s a stupid situation, I think it’s a deficiency in the law, I’ve tried to get it through the Senate, Labor won’t support the change.
“This guy is a creep and he should be kept out of the country, and that’s very clear on the facts, and you’ve read some of those out, but this is a big frustration.
“In the visa area, if he was from New Zealand for example, he’s here on a visa, I can cancel the visa, the AAT can’t overturn my decision, but they can overturn the decision of a delegate, and then I can reinstate the original decision of the delegate, this related to citizenship, and I really want to get this law through.”
Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Peter Dutton. Picture: AAP Asked how the AAT had found him to be of “good character”, Mr Dutton said there was “change coming” to the tribunal.
“You can’t go anywhere in the country without people stopping you saying, ‘sort out the AAT,’ and Christian Porter I think is doing a great job as the Attorney-General,” Mr Dutton said.
“We’re doing some work with him at the moment to look at ways we can sort this out, because it can’t stand that these people are here committing multiple offences, serious offences against multiple Australian victims and somehow they’re allowed to stay.
“As I say people should have their day in court, but at the moment the way in which the AAT’s operating in many of these cases is completely unacceptable to the community.”