Sorry Saga - “It’s actually quite funny people thinking they know more than they actually do”

Gillon McLachlan to front Senate inquiry over Peter Dutton au pair scandal

Claire Bickers, News Corp Australia Network
27 minutes ago

HOME Affairs boss Mike Pezzullo has confirmed the leaking of emails which revealed AFL chief Gillon McLachlan lobbied Peter Dutton to intervene to prevent a French au pair being deported has been referred to the Australian Federal Police.

Mr Pezzullo told the inquiry into the so-called au pairs scandal at Parliament House today the matter of the leaked emails would likely become a police inquiry.

He has sought to avoid speaking about the emails today on the grounds it was possibly a criminal matter that they had been disclosed.

The emails, which show Mr McLachlan’s lobbying for French au pair Alexandra Duewel on behalf of his second cousin Callum, whom she intended to work for, were revealed by the Herald Sun last week.

Mr McLachlan will appear at 2pm AEST via teleconference.

Last week he said the scandal might appear to be “mates helping mates” but insisted he had only asked for an email from his cousin to be passed on to Mr Dutton’s office.

Mr Pezzullo told the inquiry Mr Dutton has used his ministerial powers 25 times to grant foreign tourists visas since he became Home Affairs Minister.

It has previously been put on the public record that Mr Dutton used his ministerial powers in such cases 14 times in the past.

Home Affairs Deputy Secretary of Visa and Citizenship Services Malisa Golightly told the inquiry in both cases the au pairs did not break the conditions of their visas but later admitted the Department didn’t actually check.

“In visas as short as this we wouldn’t usually do compliance work,” Ms Golightly said.

One of the au pairs, Alexandra Duewel, had admitted to border officials that she intended to work in breach of her tourist visas when she attempted to enter Australia at Adelaide airport in October 2015.

She intended to work for Callum MacLachlan, the second cousin of AFL chief Gillon McLachlan.

Mr Dutton intervened to grant her a visa after representations from Mr McLachlan, who had asked the head of the AFL’s government relations, former Liberal staffer Jude Donnelly, to email the minister’s office about her case.

Mr Pezzullo told the inquiry the Department knew of the individuals who approached the Minister’s office on behalf of the au pairs “a little” because of the document trail.

But he said the person who intervened on behalf of individuals challenging the Home Affair Department’s decision to deport them was “a matter for the Minister and his staff”.

The government has sought to downplay Mr Dutton’s intervention in the cases of the two au pairs as routine decisions by highlighting that he has granted 4129 visas under the Section 195A ministerial power since taking on the role.

But the total figure includes other interventions for cases including refugees seeking a visa on humanitarian grounds.

Labor senators grilling Mr Pezzullo at the inquiry have requested the dates of each intervention.

The minister’s decisions would have been made public eventually as they are tabled in Parliament twice a year. The extra 11 decisions will likely be disclosed at the next occasion.


Ahead of the inquiry, Prime Minister Scott Morrison launched a strong defence of his minister, who was reappointed to his role as Home Affairs Minister last week after attempting to roll Malcolm Turnbull in a leadership spill.

Mr Morrison said Mr Dutton had simply made a decision about ministerial intervention “which is done every single day”.

“Other decisions he has made on this basis, like decisions I made on this basis, were to kick bikies out of the country who were committing crimes. He made decisions to kick out people who were paedophiles,” Mr Morrison said.

The Prime Minister also said it was routine practice for Mr Dutton not to appear before the inquiry today as he was a member of the House of Representatives, and the inquiry was being held by the Senate.

A damaging leak also emerged today which revealed senior Labor frontbencher Tony Burke personally lobbied for an Islamic hate preacher who advocated for the death penalty for homosexuals to be given a visa to Australia.

“The Labor Party cannot be trusted when it comes to our visa system. We have read the reports today about the sort of people that the Labor Party wants to let in,” Mr Morrison said.

The Australian reported this morning that Mr Burke had lobbied the Home Affairs Department in July last year on behalf of The Voice of Islam radio station, which had invited Mohammed Rateb Abdalah Ali al-Nabulsi to Australia as a guest speaker at a charity event and to do talkback radio shows.

Australian intelligence officials had declared Mr Nabulsi a hate preacher. He was denied a visa on character grounds after Australian intelligence officials made the assessment that his views against Western values and women and homosexuals in particular “were likely to be abhorrent” to sectors of the community.

The Australian published a letter from Mr Burke to the department which noted that Mr Nabulsi had complied with visa conditions on previous visits. He also requested to be told if there was any other factors he should know about Mr Nabulsi’s case.

Last night, Mr Burke told The Australian Mr Dutton had not responded when he requested the further information.

“It is outrageous and appalling that there were character concerns about this specific individual and he never bothered to let me know, even though I had specifically asked,” Mr Burke said.

“Mr Dutton needs to answer the question as to why he kept character concerns secret from an MP who was seeking that exact ­information.”


Gills face right now


The beginning of the end.

This what I hope.


I don’t really see it as Gil doing anything wrong unfortunately.

He put the question in as he had the government legal connections via the AFL

It’s Dutton going against his own staff & proper process that is the issue.

Unless of course there is something preventing Gil from using AFL government legal connection for anything outside of AFL related issues. Doubtful.

Why Dutton would do so for Gil also the big question though? A returned favour or to be done.


Gil’s family was attempting to rort the visa system. Gil engaged AFL resources to carry out the rort. It goes beyond the personal of an individual making representations for family or friends. The AFL has been a vehicle of the lobbying for a system rort, in fact if not in law.
The Department did not follow up whether the au pairs had complied with the condition attached to the Dutton tourist visa grant ( no work, including babysitting).


The old boys’ network

They are so corrupt they think it is business as usual and it usually is

Ring a mate, give em a job, ask a favour, cover up a scandal, destroy anyone who doesn’t play ball

The ethos of the AFL croneys


It’s all getting pretty willing in politics now isn’t it? Vic ALP Gov’t revealing past Vic Lib Gov’t settlement discussions, Dutton’s excuse for dodgy ministerial decisions to point to Burke being dodgier with bikies etc. I wonder how many more lids are loosening.


Umm, not sure that I would say it’s getting pretty willing now.

You don’t recall a couple of royal commissions into the Pink Batts and Unions that were kicked off by the Federal Libs straight after getting voted in? There was only one outcome wanted from that and that was to sink the boots into Labor, but these things have a way of getting paid back.

Matthew Guys decisions as a Planning Minister regarding Phillip Island and Fishermen’s Bend bordered on straight out corruption to benefit the few and transfer the costs onto the community and were nowhere near what his department was recommending.


So what you’re saying is, when the ALP are in trouble it’s because the Libs want to hurt them, but when the Libs are in trouble it is due to the Libs’ own shortcomings?

We are veering into the politics thread. My point is just that we seem to have a lot more private ministerial business getting exposed at present. I hope this helps set the saga record straighter, given the Federal Court, ASADA, AFL Tribunal, Supreme Court, CAS and the AAT have not given much assistance so far.


Just watched McLachlan being questioned by the senate committee via teleconference. It must have been damaging to his ego for the chair to refer to him as Mr Gillon twice. Not everyone thinks he is important apparently.

He and his sidekick Jude Donnelly stated they were appearing in their personal capacity and not as AFL employees. But when asked if anyone was in the room, McLachlan revealed Leon Dwyer, Head of AFL Legal Affairs and his own lawyer, someone called Meade, were in the room.

Talk about misuse of AFL resources. First, McLachlan gets Donnelly head of AFL government relations to lobby the government on behalf of his relatives and then while claiming he is appearing in a private capacity, he has the AFL chief legal person make sure he doesn’t get into any more strife.


Court of public opinion is the only place any penalties will apply here. Fact is, Dutton had the power. That he wouldn’t exercise that power in actual humanitarian circumstances is mainly an issue of his judgement and personal slant. Hopefully the public realises he is even more creepy than they had thought. He’d only be held to account in relation to staying minister if Morrison took a stand against him, and he (Morrison) has already said no to that…

Gil was only passing on the request. The issue of him using AFL resources is a matter between him and the AFL board, not really The point of this hearing. It is interesting him having an AFL lawyer here for a personal matter. Taking a pen home from office is technically theft. Using company lawyers and employees for family business though, well that’s just normal when you’re in the polo playing set.


I may be missing something, but whats wrong with using the AFL lawyers? Surely they are able to act in their own private capacity as lawyers to assist Gil in whatever external matters they want?


I reckon it’s more than just between McLachlan and the AFL board in relation to him misusing AFL resources. The AFL purports to be the custodian of the game. Here we have the most powerful person in Australian football misusing his office. The football public has a right to know he is being held to account


Gil also got Jude Donnelly to check with the then Minister’s office about a business visa for an Argentine polo player , on behalf of a friend of a friend. Morrison was the Minister at the time. Rumour has it that the friend of a friend was Gil’s cousin Callum, of the International Polo Association.


This stinks.

Like burning vomit.

And nothing will come from it.


You might be right. We’ll have to assume he’s not on AFL time. But a wild guess is that the rationale would be that although Donnelly and McLaughlin were there on a personal basis not as AFL representatives, the fact that they are coincidentally AFL employees might justify the AFL’s lawyer having a sticky beak.

You reckon gil’s paying him out of gil’s pocket?


I would have thought that the lawyers, in protecting themselves from any scrutiny & extracting as much money out of the request as possible, would have requested that Gil pays them out of his own pocket.


The other thing that came out to the senate hearing is that McLachlan couldn’t lie straight in bed. He first characterised his other visa intervention as a request to help a mate of mate who wanted a business visa to do a couple of week’s work in Australia. But later he claimed it was to get an Argentine out here to play a bit of polo.

Remember this the man who famously said that he couldn’t do his job if he lied.


Gil came across as a witness of poor credibility.

To be fair, I’m probably biased as i think he is a a ■■■■ stain of a human being.


Although I don’t agree with Bruce about McLachlan and Dutton using the network to help out a relative; let’s face it if I’d rung Dutton’s office to help out my cousin, you can bet I’d still be waiting - the poor judgement of those people has given Bruce a chance to remind the senators of their failures with our 34+++.

Dear Senators

The last poll I saw on the ‘ profession respect totem pole ’, ranked politicians third last just above the ladies of the night and used car salesmen.

The decision to conduct a Senate Inquiry into Peter Dutton and not conduct an inquiry into the corrupted ASADA-AFL investigation into Essendon and the corrupted Court of Arbitration for Sport hearing should ensure that politicians are ranked last forever.

On the one hand, to paraphrase Kerry Packer, by going after Peter Dutton you are just ■■■■■■■ tax payers’ money up against the wall, and on the other hand, by refusing to conduct an inquiry into the Essendon saga you are complicit in destroying the lives of 34 Essendon players who were unjustly found guilty of being administered a banned substance.

The Dutton issue and the Essendon saga make an interesting contrast.

Peter Dutton, who I believed should have been sacked for condoning ASADA and AFL corruption, did nothing wrong with respect to issuing a visa to the French au pair.


  1. Considered a legal request from Gill McLachlan, a man whom I detest and believe should be investigated for possible criminal offences during the Essendon saga (see below)

  2. Decided that the au pair wasn’t a threat to our national security and wasn’t taking a job from an Australian citizen

  3. Exercised his discretionary powers to allow the French lady to spend three months with family friends

I understand that Bet-Easy and the TAB have the Senate Inquiry committee decision at shorter odds than Winx.

Senators Pratt, Kitching, Watt and McKim will embarrass themselves and find against Dutton and issue a report to that effect.

Senators McDonald and Molan will find in favour of Dutton and issue a dissenting report.

The report will go to the Chamber and a few people from Labor and the cross bench will slag off against Dutton and a few Coalition members will expose a string of people from Labor and the Greens who made similar requests to McLachlan.

Depending who bothers to turn up, Dutton will either be exonerated or required to stand in the corner or write a hundred lines.

Who cares? What a waste of time and tax payers money. You all should be ashamed of yourselves.

Now let’s contrast the ‘importance’ of the au pair lady with your refusal to hold a Senate Inquiry into the corrupted ASADA-AFL investigation into Essendon and the corrupted Court of Arbitration for Sport hearing.

I have spent over 13,000 hours on the Essendon saga and have written over one million words. I am quite happy to debate all of you at the one time on the subject. Just name the place and time. Only one rule: No notes.

The following is just a summary. I have hundreds of examples to support my claims of corruption. My QC/retired judge has read most of my one million words and believes I have made my case for the 14 points below. His judgement is in red in brackets.

I should be delighted to hear from any of you arguing that the Dutton case was more deserving of a Senate Inquiry than the Essendon saga. The bottom line is you have all condoned unprecedented corruption that has destroyed the lives of 34 innocent players.

  1. The AFL conspired with ASADA, the Essendon board (represented by Chairman David Evans and Chief Executive Ian Robson) and the Federal government, on 9 February 2013 to fix the result of the investigation before the first witness was interviewed.


  1. The Essendon board endorsed the agreement reached by the AFL, ASADA and the Gillard government.


  1. The action of AFL Chief Executive Andrew Demetriou continually implying in the media that Essendon and Hird were guilty.


  1. The AFL briefed the proposed jury (the AFL Commissioners) on the evidence before the investigation was completed.


  1. The AFL informed the jury before the investigation was completed that the Essendon Football Club, James Hird, Danny Corcoran and Mark Thompson were guilty.


  1. The AFL informed the jury before the investigation was completed what some of the penalties would be.


  1. The AFL bullied and blackmailed the Essendon Football Club, James Hird, Danny Corcoran and Mark Thompson to accept the penalties before charges were laid.


  1. The Essendon board agreed to the fraud in order to mitigate the threat of more severe penalties.


  1. ASADA changed evidence; omitted evidence; and fabricated evidence to help the AFL create a case against Essendon, Hird, Corcoran and Thompson.


  1. The AFL denied Hird procedural fairness by wanting him stood aside as coach before he was even interviewed.


  1. At the AFL’s behest, on 25 June 2013, David Evans asked James Hird if he would agree to be suspended and Essendon be banned from playing in the finals series.


  1. On separate occasions, deputy AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan (26 June 2013) and Andrew Demetriou (24 July 2013) asked Ms Andruska to omit information from the interim report. Those omissions may have contributed to the AFL being able to defraud Essendon of $2 million.


  1. The AFL asked ASADA to include things in the interim report in order to prove guilt. This contributed to the AFL defrauding Essendon of $2 million.


  1. ASADA chief investigator John Nolan tried to doctor the injection figures on 15 July 2013, in order to build the case against Essendon.


Everything in this whole shameful disgraceful saga speaks of conspiracy, duplicity, lies, interference with the truth in order to arrive at a preconceived outcome with the setting up of “sacrificial lambs”.

If I am right in this regard then this whole Essendon doping saga’s conduct is unbecoming of a civilised society under the rule of law.

Such conduct should be investigated thoroughly given the importance of this matter and if found to be so it should be exposed and the relevant participants be brought to justice.