Friday, 14 September 2018

Dutton doubles down in a very public fight

“Grooming is when someone builds an emotional connection with a child to gain their trust for the purposes of sexual abuse, sexual exploitation or trafficking. Children and young people can be groomed online or face-to-face, by a stranger or by someone they know - for example a family member, friend or professional.”  [National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, 2018]

The Canberra Times, 11 September 2018:

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has dramatically escalated his attack on Roman Quaedvlieg, claiming the former Border Force commissioner "groomed" a woman 30 years his junior.

Mr Dutton also said Mr Quaedvlieg – who has emerged as a key figure in the high-profile saga surrounding the Minister's interventions in visa matters – was Labor's Godwin Grech, a reference to the former Treasury official whose misleading evidence in the "Utegate" scandal helped destroy Malcolm Turnbull's first stint as Liberal leader.

On Tuesday, amid ongoing scrutiny of Mr Dutton's conduct, Fairfax Media reported he pressed Mr Quaedvlieg in 2014 to help two Queensland policemen get jobs in the newly formed Border Force.

In response to questions from Labor in question time, the Home Affairs Minister said Mr Quaedvlieg was spreading lies.

"This smear is coming from the former Australian Border Force commissioner, a man who was, as commissioner, sacked from his position. He was a man who had groomed a girl 30 years younger than himself. He is discredited and disgraced," Mr Dutton said.

Mr Quaedvlieg, 53, was sacked from Border Force earlier this year after he was found to have helped his younger girlfriend, Sarah Rogers, reportedly 22 years old, get a job within the agency.

"He is somebody that the Labor Party should not rely on. A lot has been promised to the Labor Party  but it's clear to me that Roman Quaedvlieg is your Godwin Grech."
Mr Quaedvlieg immediately responded to the attack, saying they were "curious, stuttering, rambling comments". He noted Mr Dutton was making the comments under parliamentary privilege, protecting him from legal action.

"Grooming? Are you serious? That has a legislative meaning. Is that what he meant?" he said on Twitter.

Quaedvlieg has since written to the Speaker of the House of Representatives complaining that Dutton has abused parliamentary privilege.

The Dutton allegations......

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