The Minister of Internal Affairs, Peter Dutton, struck back the former commissioner of the Australian Border Force after presenting a petition to a Senate investigation into Dutton's actions in the office.
The Minister of Internal Affairs, Peter Dutton, struck back the former commissioner of the Australian Border Force after submitting a petition to a Senate investigation into Dutton's actions in office.
Former commissioner Roman Quaedvlieg said the minister's chief of staff, Craig Maclachlan, contacted him in June 2015 to obtain a visa for an Italian au pair.
However, Mr. Dutton has stated that the alleged conversation between his employee and Mr. Quaedvlieg could never have happened because Mr. Maclachlan did not work for him until October 2015.
"Quaedvlieg is bitter about the loss of his job, but making evidence for a Senate committee takes his behavior to a disturbing level," he told The Australian.
"As a matter of public record, Mr. Quaedvlieg remains under criminal investigation by ACLEI and another person related to this matter is subject to charges."
Mr. Dutton alleged that Mr. Quaedvlieg's enormous "error of judgment" was the result of "the pressure and personal cost of these investigations."
He said that, as a result, he personally contacted the ABF Commissioner, Mr. Michael Outram, and asked him to offer all the support available to Mr. Quaedvlieg.
Mr. Quaedvlieg responded quickly to Mr. Dutton's scathing criticism and said he was sure that his own recollection of the facts was correct.
"However, I am convinced that they happened, I completely reject your claim that I have fabricated evidence, I am very firm with the description of the events as I have collected and outlined it in my presentation," he told The Australian.
Mr. Dutton stated that Mr. Quaedvlieg's presentation was "completely false and even fabricated".
Mr. Quaedvlieg states that during the 2015 exchange, Mr. Maclachlan said that he was calling "on behalf of the Minister" to confirm if the au pair had been arrested upon arrival at the Brisbane airport, ABC reports.
The former commissioner of the Australian Border Force submitted a petition to a Senate investigation in which he claimed that Peter Dutton's office had contacted him by an Italian au pair (photographed in 2016)
It is understood that the au pair, Michela Marchisio (pictured) was arrested for planning to work with a tourist visa
Mr. Quaedvlieg states that the Chief of Staff said that he was calling "on behalf of the Minister"
He says that he later established that she had been detained because she intended to work with a tourist visa.
When he transmitted this information to Mr. Maclachlan, he is said to have asked "what must happen so that the minister invalidates" the decision?
It is understood that the au pair, Michela Marchisio, planned to work for the Queensland police officer Russell Keag and his wife, Nicole.
The au pair planned to work for Queensland police officer Russell Keag and his wife, Nicole (pictured)
Mr. Keag was a former colleague of Mr. Dutton's when he worked as a police officer in Queensland.
Dutton has strongly denied having spoken with the Keags about the au pair.
He has also said previously that someone in the Border Force routinely filters information about au pair and his office.
"There is a former retired Australian Border Force officer who discards this information," Dutton told Sydney's 2GB radio.
This comes after Mr. Dutton was also accused of using his discretionary powers to revoke the deportation of a French au pair and grant him a new visa.
"I looked at it and I thought it was a bit harsh, there is no criminal record, she agreed that it would not work, I thought it was an application of common sense," he told the 2GB radio.
Emails now show that Mr. Dutton intervened after being contacted by the AFL, 9 News reported, the French au pair had previously worked for Callum Maclachlan, a relative of AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan.
Ms. Marchisio, the au pair at the center of the accusations, represented in Brisbane