"Disgraceful" Army vet slams Dutton over au pair scandal
A FRASER Coast army veteran who has fought to have his Afghan interpreter brought to Australia for years has slammed Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton over the recent au pair scandal.
Captain Jason Scanes has made repeated requests to meet with Mr Dutton to discuss a visa for the interpreter who worked with him in the war zone, and whose life is in danger.
Mr Scanes' requests were ignored.
But he was furious to discover Mr Dutton had used his ministerial discretion to allow three nannies to enter the country.
Secret emails reveal Mr Dutton's involvement in granting a a detained French au pair a visa, despite objections from Border Force officials, and another visa for an Italian woman intending to work in Australia.
Mr Scanes, who has spent the last five years fighting to bring his interpreter, Hassan, to Australia, said the situation was "absolutely disgraceful."
"In this case, he can intervene in that timeframe and go against the department's recommendation, yet Afghan interpeters who are being hunted by the Taliban, are waiting five years," Mr Scanes told the Chronicle.
"UN reports have been released, revealing there's been a 35 per cent increase in targeted attacks in Afghanistan.
"It shows the deterioration of the situation over there, and the increasing risk and danger these people find themselves in, and Mr Dutton has cited 'humanitarian reasons' for giving these individual visas.
Earlier this year, Mr Scanes staged a one-man protest outside Mr Dutton's office, dressed in his miliatary colours and demanding a meeting with the Minister.
After significant media attention, the Office of Home Affairs agreed to review Hassan's failed vias application.
But it quickly denied an appeal, saying there was "no new information" to support it.
Mr Scanes said Hassan was one of many interpreters who had worked with Coalition military forces for years, and had gone through rigorous security checks.
"If the Minister is going to fail these guys on the character test, then he needs to make sure decisions are based on fact and not assumptions," Mr Scanes said.
"From the information I have, and from the Minister's department, they have no evidence to deny a visa to my interpreter."
Mr Dutton is under increasing pressure to explain why he intervened in the au pair cases, with the latest revelation involving a French national employed by a wealthy family who have donated $150,000 to the Liberal Party.
AFL boss Gillon McLachlan asked Mr Dutton to ask him to help in that case, on behalf of his second cousin.
- Additional reporting Shannon Molloy