Parliament House doorstop

SUBJECT: Peter Dutton’s eligibility.  

HON MARK DREYFUS QC MP
SHADOW ATTORNEY-GENERAL
SHADOW MINISTER FOR NATIONAL SECURITY
MEMBER FOR ISAACS 
 

E&OE TRANSCRIPT
DOORSTOP
PARLIAMENT HOUSE, CANBERRA
MONDAY, 10 SEPTEMBER 2018

SUBJECT: Peter Dutton’s eligibility.  
 
MARK DREYFUS, SHADOW ATTORNEY-GENERAL: Mr Morrison should be referring Peter Dutton to the High Court of Australia because of the doubt around his eligibility to sit in this Parliament. And the reason he should be referring Mr Dutton to the High Court is that not only have more doubts emerged about his eligibility over the course of the last week but it’s also clear that hundreds if not thousands of decisions made by Mr Dutton while he is ineligible to sit in the Parliament are cast into doubt. It’s absolutely essential that this matter be put to rest. As the Solicitor-General has made clear in the advice that he’s given, which the government has made public, only the High Court can put that doubt to rest as to whether or not Mr Dutton is eligible to sit in the Parliament.
 
JOURNALIST: You tried just before Parliament ended to refer Mr Dutton to the High Court – will you try again?
 
DREYFUS: We’re certainly going to look at whether or not there is the support in the House of Representatives for the referral of Mr Dutton to the High Court of Australia, so that his eligibility can be considered. But we’re calling on the government, in particular we’re calling on Mr Morrison to support that referral. It’s simply untenable for Mr Morrison to allow this situation to go on, to allow Peter Dutton to continue to sit in the House of Representatives when these doubts have been raised about his eligibility.
 
JOURNALIST: You mentioned there are doubts about his previous decisions but aren’t there actual caveats in the law around de facto and what not if he was elected in good faith – it doesn’t really cast into doubt all his decisions?
 
DREYFUS: It absolutely does. The complex law that you’ve just referred to is something that has never been ruled on by any court in Australia. The plain position is that if Mr Dutton is not eligible to sit in the House of Representatives, he’s only eligible to be a minister for three months from the date of his appointment as a minister. And what that would mean is that everything that he’s done since October 2016 is potentially open to challenge. That’s an unacceptable state of affairs, it’s simply adding to the chaos of this government of muppets, led by Mr Morrison.
 
ENDS