4 January 2018


The almost daily intervention and involvement by Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton in the Melbourne African street crime Law and Order debate lays bare the politics behind the creation of the Federal Government’s new Home Affairs Ministry.

Australian Civil Liberties Council President Terry O’Gorman said that Mr Dutton, an ex‑Queensland detective, is using his position as new Home Affairs Minister to politicise Victorian Law and Order issues to gain more Commonwealth power over State policing and to use the Home Affairs Ministry to interfere and gain advantage for Liberal Party politicians in the Victorian Law and Order debate ahead of the next Victorian State Election.

“When the new Home Affairs Ministry was announced jointly by Prime Minister Turnbull and then Immigration Minister Peter Dutton in mid‑2017, it was touted as an exercise to ‘break down the silos’ and maximise information sharing between Federal and State Law Enforcement and Intelligence Service agencies primarily to improve the fight against terrorism in Australia”, Mr O’Gorman said.

“Critics of the new super Ministry concerned about the concentration of so much power in the hands of Minister Dutton were assured by him and his Departmental Secretary Michael Pezzullo that operational policing decisions would remain independent when the new Home Affairs Ministry was created”, Mr O’Gorman said.

“Yet over the last two weeks we have seen first the Prime Minister support Victorian based Federal Liberal MPs attacks on the Victorian Police Force and the Victorian Government, and now we are seeing Minister Dutton taking his interference in Victorian State policing operations to a new level”, Mr O’Gorman said.

Mr O’Gorman said that today’s Melbourne Age reports that in a dramatic intervention in Victoria’s crime debate, Mr Dutton yesterday accused Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews of undermining the State’s Police and the Courts with Mr Dutton saying that political correctness had “taken hold” in Victoria.

“Whatever the real facts and solutions to the issue of African street crime in Melbourne are, they are absolutely no business of the Federal Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton”, Mr O’Gorman said.

Mr O’Gorman said that Mr Dutton should butt out of State Law and Order issues.

“It is a misuse of his new role as Minister of Home Affairs to involve himself in local Victorian Law and Order politics”, Mr O’Gorman said.

Mr O’Gorman said that Mr Dutton’s adoption of Police Association tactics to insert himself into Victorian Law and Order issues justifies the concerns of those who not only opposed the creation of the new Home Affairs Super Ministry but also voiced opposition to the ex-Queensland detective heading it.


Mr O’Gorman can be contacted during business hours on 07 3034 0000