Peter Dutton’s intervention to stop the deportation of a French au pair has been revealed in leaked emails showing he went against the advice of his department.
Emails showed the Home Affairs Minister intervened after AFL boss Gillon McLachlan’s relative, Callum, appealed for his French au pair Alexandra Deuwel not to be deported, The Age reported.
Ms Deuwel, 27, who had previously been counselled by border authorities over her visa conditions, was detained at Adelaide Airport on October 31, 2015, after she admitted she intended to work while on a tourist visa.
Peter Dutton’s (pictured) intervention to stop the deportation of a French au pair has been revealed in leaked emails showing he went against advice of his department
Emails showed the Home Affairs Minister intervened after AFL boss Gillon McLachlan’s relative, Callum, appealed for his au pair Alexandra Deuwel (pictured) not to be deported
Mr Dutton used his ministerial powers to allow her to stay in Australia for three months after his chief of staff was forwarded the email written by Callum MacLachlan and his wife Skye.
‘There has clearly been a misunderstanding that she was intending to work for us when she is here to spend time with our family, as we consider her to be family,’ the couple wrote.
‘What can we do to have this injustice resolved and have her tourist visa reinstated before she flies out tonight?’.
Mr Dutton granted her a three -onth tourist visa on the condition she did not work, despite being told the young woman had previously been counselled in May 2015 after breaching her visa conditions.
Mr Dutton used his ministerial powers to allow her to stay in Australia after his chief of staff was forwarded the email (pictured) written by Callum MacLachlan and his wife Skye
The move was described as ‘discretionary and humanitarian act’ for a person with ‘ongoing needs’, decision submission documents obtained by ABC News revealed.
The document stated the decision was in the ‘interests of Australia as a humane and generous society’.
Mr Dutton, who lost his immigration responsibilities after last week’s spill and the resulting Cabinet reshuffle, was Sports Minister from in 2013 and 2014.
Ms Deuwel had last been in Australia on May 3 as a holder of a tourist visa, having worked for the MacLachlan family as an au pair in 2013 and 2014.
Mr Dutton said he weighed up the case based on its merits rather than the person who had referred it, arguing references to the woman being an au pair were ‘flowery language’ and ‘complete nonsense’.
AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan’s relatives Callum and Skye MacLachlan (pictured with their children) previously employed Ms Deuwel as a nanny
‘I looked at it and thought it’s a bit rough, there’s no criminal history, she’s agreed that she wouldn’t work while she was here,’ Mr Dutton told 2GB radio on Thursday.
‘As I understand it, she never overstayed the visa, hasn’t committed any offences, and I thought it was an application of common sense.’
Mr Dutton said he dealt with hundreds of visa issues each year and claimed ‘enemies in the media’ were dredging the case up to ‘get square’ for his role in bringing down Malcolm Turnbull in a leadership coup last week.
The minister also hit out at a Senate inquiry set up to examine his interventions in the cases of two other au pairs in 2015, which is due to hear evidence next week.
‘I am a person of integrity, I’ve never been compromised, I never will,’ he said.
Alexandra Deuwel (pictured), 27, was detained at Adelaide Airport on October 31 2015 after telling immigration officials she intended to work in Australia
Ms Deuwel (pictured) was counselled by Australian Border Force officers in May 2015 about breaching her visa conditions while leaving Australia
When Ms Deuwel flew to visit the MacLachlans she told officers she planned to work and had her eVisitor visa cancelled as a result.
After her detention, Mr Dutton’s chief of staff Craig Maclachlan is understood to have been contacted by an AFL official on behalf of Mr McLachlan.
Gillon McLachlan is the second cousin of Callum MacLachlan, although they spell their surnames slightly differently.
Craig Maclachlan spells his surname differently again but is not related to any of the parties involved.
After her detention, Mr Dutton’s chief of staff Craig Maclachlan is understood to have been contacted by an AFL official on behalf of Mr McLachlan (pictured)
Mr Dutton used his discretionary powers to grant Ms Deuwel a visa under the condition she did not undertake paid work
Callum MacLachlan is a wealthy pastoralist whose family has donated some $150,000 to the Liberal Party.
Mr MacLachlan’s father Hugh donated a further $50,000 to the party’s South Australian branch six months after Mr Dutton’s intervention.
Daily Mail Australia contacted Alexandra Deuwel, Callum Maclachlan and Gillon McLachlan for comment.