AU PAIR SAGA: Insider's explosive letter exposes Dutton
AN EXPLOSIVE letter from one of Peter Dutton's former allies appears to contradict the embattled Home Affairs Minister's claims that he acted appropriately in the au pair saga.
Roman Quaedvlieg, the former commissioner of Border Force, has written to a Senate Inquiry examining Mr Dutton's intervention in visa issues concerning two foreign nannies.
Mr Quaedvlieg's evidence concerns the use of special ministerial powers to grant a tourist visa to an Italian au pair detained by authorities at Brisbane Airport in June 2015.
He wrote to the chair of the inquiry, West Australian Labor Senator Louise Pratt, after testimony at yesterday's session, saying he received a call from Mr Dutton's office regarding a "friend" whose nanny needed help.
Mr Dutton has repeatedly insisted that he had no personal relationship with anyone involved in the two cases, including in response to a question in Parliament.
Greens MP Adam Bandt said the response was misleading, after revelations the Italian woman's employer was Mr Dutton's former Queensland Police colleague.
Despite that, Mr Dutton has said he doesn't consider the man a friend and hasn't spoken to him in almost two decades.
But in his letter, Mr Quaedvlieg said he received a phone call from Craig Maclachlan, Mr Dutton's chief of staff, asking for advice on how to arrange an intervention in the case.
He was told a "friend" of the minister had an au pair who was detained. He checked into the case and found officials cancelled her tourist visa because she intended to work.
Mr Dutton is under fire over his use of intervention powers. As well as this case, he also overruled official decisions for a French woman, who was employed by the cousin of AFL boss Gill McLachlan.
The Senate Inquiry yesterday heard from Mr McLachlan, who defended his actions and said he simply passed on an email to Mr Dutton's office.
Mr McLachlan's cousin, who employed the woman, is a wealthy pastoralist whose family has donated more than $150,000 to the Liberal Party.
Mr Dutton has continually denied any wrongdoing and said he acted appropriately in exercising his ministerial powers.
Mr Quaedvlieg left his post in March after a long-running investigation into whether he misused his power to get his partner a job within Border Force.