Politics

Peter Dutton Is Suddenly Very Invested In Borders Being Open

"I mean if anybody knows about devastating families with border restrictions it's this guy"

peter dutton

Peter Dutton — aka Mr Border Control himself — has ironically come out swinging against border closures in his home state of Queensland.

Yesterday on 2GB radio Dutton said people unable to get travel exemptions to get into Queensland were being treated “cruelly” and like “prisoners”.

“There is no health reason … it’s all for political reasons,” he said.

“Unfortunately, a lot of people are suffering and feeling the consequences.”

Queensland banned anyone from NSW or the ACT entering the state in early August after the Chief Health Officer declared them to be COVID-19 hotspots. Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has said they won’t relax this rule until there is no community transmission in NSW.

She’s been under pressure for some time from her NSW counterpart to open the state back up, and this week the federal government also weighed in after the restrictions prevented a woman from Canberra from seeing her father before he died.

“I just can’t understand why the government would put someone through that extra grief,” Dutton said about the case yesterday.

“This young lady, tragically, will be scarred for life.”

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has also lobbied the premier to show discretion with the rules. Eventually the woman was allowed to briefly leave hotel quarantine (in full PPE gear) to visit his body at the funeral home, but was denied an exemption to attend his funeral or see her mother and sister.

After being savaged over the heartbreaking case Palaszczuk has maintained she was following health advice and it was not her decision — and also accused the PM of bullying her.

But Peter Dutton’s comments have attracted people’s attention, considering he’s usually notorious for wanting to keep people out.

Under his watch Australia has been accused of designing “a system of deliberate abuse” on Nauru to deter asylum seekers from seeking refuge here.

He’s shown no sympathy to refugees who have been trying to get to Australia — accusing them of lying about being raped to get in, of self-harming just to get around border rules and of fabricating stories about child abuse.

He’s refused to let a young Tamil family who had settled in Biloela stay, despite a tireless campaign from the regional community to get them released from immigration detention. He also refused to allow the mother of a Kurdish Iranian asylum seeker who committed suicide on Nauru to attend his funeral in Brisbane, until a court intervened.

Although, sometimes he’s happy for people to people to get through our borders — most notably au pairs who are coming in to work for friends and colleagues.

The Minister for Home Affairs is currently in isolation himself after returning from Canberra for parliament.