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The great Australian tourist visa scam

By Murray Hunter - posted Monday, 5 August 2019


Towards Big Brother or Big Corruption?

Home Affairs is tainted with a potential compromise in integrity. The secretary of the department Mike Pezzullo, has a brother who was a former Customers officer convicted for perjury and being a member of a corrupt ring of officers at Sydney Airport. Some are arguing that this is a conflict of interest for him. Pezzullo has been a hawk for the surveillance state.

Good governance requires high ranking public servants to be totally and absolutely beyond any reproach in wrong doing. It has to be asked whether the department had the right person in charge. It’s not just the integrity of Mike Pezzullo that is at stake but the whole government.

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The Minister for Home Affairs Peter Dutton was accused of compromising the integrity of the government using his discretion to favour some applicants over others. Dutton was accused of helping friends of his powerful friends get visas, while ignoring pleas by an Australian veteran for help in a visa for a refugee who was an interpreter for Australian forces in Afghanistan.

The experiment to make Home Affairs a super-department and the vanguard of the national security community has to be put in question if the department can’t run its visitor visa section with honesty and integrity. There are too many signs of corruption to allow Home Affairs to have so much power over people of the nation and visitors to Australia.

The Australian Federal Police Union is fearful that integration of the AFP into Home affairs will compromise the force’s independence and integrity.  Former Attorney-General George Brandis before departing to a diplomatic posting in London warned endorsed the private concerns of some within ASIO that the new security structure could expose the domestic spy agency to ministerial or bureaucratic pressure..

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Murray Hunter is an associate professor at the University Malaysia Perlis.

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