The Department of Home Affairs has released more than 100 emails revealing the efforts of Peter Dutton’s office to prevent two foreign au pairs from being deported. The communications show that immigration officials scrambled late at night to ensure a young woman employed by a former police colleague of Dutton was not deported, despite evidence she was breaching her visa conditions by accepting paid work. The emails came as a Labor-led Senate committee found Dutton misled parliament over the au pairs affair, recommending a censure motion against him.
Australian Medical Association president Tony Bartone has urged prime minister Scott Morrison to move asylum seeker families and children off Nauru for health reasons. In a letter to Morrison, Bartone cited “the escalation in reports of catastrophic mental and physical health conditions being experienced by the asylum seekers, especially children” as evidence that the deteriorating situation on Nauru was “a humanitarian emergency requiring urgent intervention”. The federal government has not responded to a Senate inquiry, which recommended in April 2017 that it “recognise the impacts of long-term immigration detention, including by commissioning an independent assessment of its impacts on physical and mental health”.
Seven West Media chair Kerry Stokes told former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull that 21st Century Fox co-chair Rupert Murdoch and his News Corp media company were trying to have him removed from the Lodge. The Guardian reports that Stokes told Turnbull in August that Murdoch had discussed News Corp agitating for a change of Liberal leader. Turnbull then asked Murdoch to call off a media campaign against his leadership, also mentioning radio shock jocks Alan Jones and Ray Hadley, as well as Sky News commentators. In a statement, Stokes said “I have never been involved in leadership events nor autopsies of them”. Commenting on the original report of Stokes and Murdoch’s conversation, former prime minister Kevin Rudd said “the Murdoch media behav[es] effectively as a political party in pursuit of its financial interests”.
And New South Wales state Liberal MP Gareth Ward has been accused of bullying by a second woman. In state parliament Question Time on Wednesday, Shellharbour MP Anna Watson read out excerpts from a letter sent by an anonymous Dapto woman in which she accused Ward of having “anger management issues, no concept of appropriate behaviour and appears to have issues with women”. Ward denied the claims, saying they were “simply not true, I wouldn’t do that”. The new allegations undercut Ward’s attempts to distance himself from allegations of bullying by federal Liberal MP Ann Sudmalis, telling Fairfax he “was bullied as a kid and went to hell and back” as a child.