Peter Dutton will face a parliamentary inquiry over decision to grant European au pairs tourist visas.
Peter Dutton will face a parliamentary inquiry over decision to grant European au pairs tourist visas.

How Dutton’s au pair scandal unfolded

HOME Affairs Peter Dutton's decision to grant two European au pairs visas will face scrutiny from a parliamentary inquiry in Canberra.

The Senate's legal affairs committee will start its inquiry into whether Mr Dutton misused his ministerial power by intervening in visa cases on Wednesday.

AFL boss Gillon McLachlan will appear via teleconference to explain his involvement in lobbying Mr Dutton to overturn an au pair's visa rejection.

Alexandra Deuwel was detained at Adelaide airport in October 2015 after admitting she intended to work in breach of her tourist visa for grazier Callum MacLachlan, the AFL boss' second cousin.

Leaked documents show Mr MacLachlan contacted Gillon McLachlan, who directed the AFL's head of government relations and former Liberal staffer Jude Donnelly to forward an email from his cousin to Mr Dutton's chief-of-staff.

AFL boss Gillon McLachlan will appear via teleconference to explain his involvement.
AFL boss Gillon McLachlan will appear via teleconference to explain his involvement.

Ms Donnelly is set to give evidence at the same time as her boss. Home Affairs secretary Michael Pezzullo and Australian Border Force Commissioner Michael Outram are listed to appear before the committee in the morning.

Mr Dutton is also facing questions over a second au pair he saved from deportation, an Italian woman who was apparently planning to work for a former Queensland police colleague.

He has consistently denied any wrongdoing in both cases, saying he had no personal link to anyone involved.

 

Peter Dutton released au pair Alexandra Deuwel after lobbying from AFL boss Gillon McLachlan.
Peter Dutton released au pair Alexandra Deuwel after lobbying from AFL boss Gillon McLachlan.

 

Labor senator and committee member Kimberley Kitching said Mr Dutton and his staff had been invited to give evidence to the inquiry but were yet to respond. "I think that until he does give a full explanation, there will be people questioning his integrity," she told the ABC.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has backed Mr Dutton ahead of a Greens attempt to move a no-confidence motion in him when federal Parliament resumes next week.

HOW THE AU PAIR SCANDAL UNFOLDED

2015 June 17 - Italian au pair of a former police colleague of Dutton's arrives in Brisbane where her visa is cancelled. She makes a phone call and a tourist visa is granted after ministerial intervention.

November 1 - A French au pair arrives in Adelaide and is granted a visitor visa after AFL boss Gillon McLachlan lobbies Dutton. The au pair worked for McLachlan's cousin.

 

Italian au pair Michela Marchisio in front of Brisbane's Story Bridge.
Italian au pair Michela Marchisio in front of Brisbane's Story Bridge.

 

2016 June - Immigration Department decides under a freedom of information request to exempt two documents in full regarding the au pair visa decisions. September - The department makes a revised decision and offers partial access to documents but blacks out the rest of the information based on privacy provisions.

2017 May - The Office of Information Commissioner forces the department to release further documents, but exempts some information for privacy reasons. 2018 March 26 - Dutton confirms he used his ministerial discretion to grant visas to two young tourists after AAP breaks the story.

March 27 - Dutton says "the answer is yes" when asked in question time to rule out any personal connection or relationship between himself and the intended employer of the Italian au pair.

April 3 - A federal tribunal rules key details surrounding Dutton's decision to grant the nannies visas must be suppressed.

August 23 - The Senate refers the matter to a parliamentary inquiry. August 28 - It emerges Dutton intervened in the second case following lobbying from Gillon McLachlan on behalf of his second cousin Callum MacLachlan whose father Hugh donated roughly $150,000 to the Liberal Party since 1999. August 30 - Dutton says he saved the nanny because he thought it was a "bit rough" for a young woman with no criminal history to get kicked out of the country.

Sept 2 - Dutton suggests the re-emergence of the issue is political payback for his failed tilt at the Liberal leadership.

Sept 3 - Dutton says he has list of "quirky" immigration requests from Labor MPs. Points to a disaffected member of the Australian Border Force as the source of the stories. Greens MP Adam Bandt says he'll move a no-confidence motion in Dutton when parliament returns next week, a move the minister describes as desperate.

Sept 5 - A parliamentary inquiry into the issue is due to start hearings in Canberra.


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