Tanya Plibersek responds after photo emerges of Peter Dutton’s son holding a bag with ‘white powder’

Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek has defended Peter Dutton’s son after a leaked social media photo pictured him holding a bag of ‘white powder’.

The image, which was first reported by the Herald Sun, showed Tom Dutton, 18, facing the camera and holding the clear bag on a balcony in Surfers Paradise.

‘Birthday day treat. Hello how you goin,’ the caption read.

The photo was first shared on Snapchat before it was screenshotted and leaked on Monday. The photo has since been deleted. 

Daily Mail Australia is not suggesting the white substance was drugs.

The Opposition Leader’s office has refused to comment on the matter, releasing a one-sentence statement that it is a ‘private matter for the Dutton family’.

Peter Dutton’s 18-year-old son, Tom (pictured), made the front pages of newspapers after he was pictured holding a bag containing white powder. Picture: Supplied/ Newscorp Network News 

Ms Plibersek expressed empathy for the families of public figures after she was asked about the matter on Channel Nine’s Today program on Tuesday. 

‘I’ve got no comment at all. Peter Dutton’s a public figure, but his son’s not,’ she said.

Host Karl Stefanovic continued to press her on the photo.

‘Can you imagine the embarrassment from the poor kid?’ he said.

‘I mean, already his dad is the Opposition Leader… he’s a former cop… and (Tom) ends up on the front page of the paper.

‘Kids have to suffer with high profile parents, don’t they?’

Ms Plibersek, who is a mum-of-three and formerly served as the Opposition Deputy Leader, conceded it wasn’t ‘an easy life’ for the children of politicians.

‘There’s nothing more embarrassing than being out with your mum and being stopped at the shops for people wanting to have a chat,’ she said.

‘It’s not an easy life. We go into public life and we choose it. Our families don’t choose it, that’s for sure.’

Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek reframed from commenting on the matter, stating: ‘Peter Dutton’s a public figure, but his son’s not’. Picture: NewsWire/ Martin Ollman

Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek reframed from commenting on the matter, stating: ‘Peter Dutton’s a public figure, but his son’s not’. Picture: NewsWire/ Martin Ollman 

National Victorian Senator Bridget McKenzie also made an appearance and said she had not spoken to Mr Dutton since the story broke on Monday night.

She reiterated it was ‘an issue for the Dutton family’.

Labor Social Services Minister Amanda Rishwoth also refrained from making political capital out of the incident, saying ‘Families are conscripts to politics’.

Snapchat is popular among young people because posts usually disappear after they have been read. Recipients can screenshot posts, but the person who shared it will be notified.

Mr Dutton has two sons – Tom and Harry – with his wife Kirilly, as well as daughter Rebecca from a previous relationship.

He told the ABC’s Kitchen Cabinet last year about how being a police officer before entering politics had influenced his parenting style, admitting that he was stricter than most. 

‘Even in the way that you bring up your children… You know, not letting them out of your sight because you’ve seen some horrific cases where kids have been abducted or assaulted,’ he told Annabel Crabb during an interview at his home.

As part of that vigilance, he would not let his children use public toilets when they were out.

Mr Dutton with his family on election night in 2022. Tom is pictured second from left

Mr Dutton with his family on election night in 2022. Tom is pictured second from left

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