InDaily

Adelaide's independent news

Support

Turnbull calls for PM to examine Dutton's links to Chinese billionaire

News

UPDATED | Malcolm Turnbull is “very, very concerned” about Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton’s meeting with a Chinese billionaire now banned from re-entering Australia.

Print article

Huang Xiangmo paid tens of thousands of dollars to a lobbyist in 2016 to secure a private lunch with Dutton when he was immigration minister, in an attempt to fast track his citizenship application, it’s been claimed.

The now-Home Affairs Minister said he agreed to the meeting because Huang was a significant leader in the Australian Chinese community.

“I’ve never received a dollar from this individual. I had that one meeting with him over lunch. I haven’t seen him since. What’s he got from me? Well, he’s now offshore,” Dutton told reporters in Rockhampton today.

But former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull said Dutton and lobbyist Santo Santoro – a former Liberal government minister – have a lot to explain about the “very troubling” revelations.

“Remember the furore that arose about Sam Dastyari? All the same, issues have arisen again,” Turnbull told reporters.

“I think it is very, very concerning and very troubling for anyone.

“This has to be addressed at the highest level of security, priority, urgency by the prime minister. The buck stops with him.”

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Huang had been banned from Australia and Labor senator Sam Dastyari forced to resign in disgrace after he tipped Huang off about an investigation into him.

“The individual you’re referring to has actually been prevented from ever returning back to Australia,” Morrison told reporters in Gosford.

“I think when it comes to these issues our government’s record is squeaky clean.”

Dastyari tweeted a link to a news story about the meeting and said: “I resigned for less.”

Huang paid money to Santoro in 2016 while mounting a campaign to secure Australian citizenship.

He then met with Dutton at a Chinese restaurant in Sydney, according to an investigation by the ABC’s Four Corners.

The minister has denied his citizenship bid was discussed at the meeting.

Labor argues the incident strikes at the integrity of Australia’s immigration system and Dutton’s performance as a minister.

“This is a cash-for-access scandal and Mr Dutton needs to come clean on all of his dealings with Santo Santoro,” shadow attorney-general Mark Dreyfus said.

“Mr Dutton and his office should immediately release all documents, emails and correspondence between himself and Santo Santoro, including any material concerning the Huang family’s citizenship applications.”

In January 2015, Huang’s family was allowed to have a private citizenship ceremony inside Dastyari’s former senatorial office, after Dutton approved the request.

-AAP

Want to comment?

Send us an email, making it clear which story you’re commenting on and including your full name (required for publication) and phone number (only for verification purposes). Please put “Reader views” in the subject.

We’ll publish the best comments in a regular “Reader Views” post. Your comments can be brief, or we can accept up to 350 words, or thereabouts.

InDaily has changed the way we receive comments. Go here for an explanation.

We value local independent journalism. We hope you do too.

InDaily provides valuable, local independent journalism in South Australia. As a news organisation it offers an alternative to The Advertiser, a different voice and a closer look at what is happening in our city and state for free. Any contribution to help fund our work is appreciated. Please click below to become an InDaily supporter.

Powered by PressPatron

More News stories

Loading next article

Subscribe to InDaily – it’s free!

South Australia’s locally owned, independent source of digital news.

Subscribe now and go in the monthly draw* for your chance to WIN a $100 Foodland voucher!

Subscribe free here

*Terms and conditions apply

Welcome back!

Did you know it’s FREE to subscribe?

Subscribe now and go in the monthly draw* for your chance to WIN a $100 voucher!

Subscribe

*Terms and conditions apply