The then-immigration minister, now minister of home affairs, is under serious scrutiny for misuse of ministerial powers.
Emails provided to a Senate inquiry on Wednesday show Dutton’s office asked the department to prepare a ministerial intervention briefing for Italian au pair Michela Marchisio.
Marchisio had arrived at Brisbane’s international airport on June 17, 2005, and faced deportation after officers discovered she intended to work while on a tourist visa.
Marchisio was allowed to make a phone call, after which the department received the request for intervention.
“This is urgent. The minister requires this submission tonight (preferably in the next hour as he has an appointment at 7:30 pm),” the email from Dutton's departmental liaison officer said.
Marchisio was granted a visa and released from detention that night.
Pictures from the young woman’s Facebook reveal she later ate Tim Tams and Caramello Koalas on her first night in Australia, once the visa dramas were resolved.
Dutton had previously told parliament he did not know the people for whom Marchisio was intending to work.
But, according to a press release by the SMH on Wednesday, her intended employer was later revealed to be a former Queensland Police colleague of Dutton, Russell Keag, who emailed his office to say it had been a “long time between calls” but he needed help.
Dutton said he had not spoken to Keag in 20 years before he was approached for help with the visa.
The Greens and Labor parties will now attempt to move a motion of no confidence in the current home affairs minister, given the Senate report finding that he misled parliament in relation to the au pair controversy.
The Senate has recommended that Dutton provide “within three sitting days, an explanation to the Senate responding to the matters raised in this report”.