Dutton accuses Border boss of 'grooming'

Dutton accuses Border boss of 'grooming'

A statement from the minister says the liaison officers are drawn from across the portfolio.

"He is discredited and disgraced".

Peter Dutton is facing another political headache over claims he pressed a senior customs official to help two Queensland cops secure jobs in a new border force agency he was setting up.

He said it was "extraordinary behaviour from a Cabinet Minister to preemptively impugn the character and reputation of a witness attempting to engage properly in a parliamentary process which ostensibly affords the same privilege to that witness that he, Mr Dutton, comfortably shielded under today to accuse me of the criminal offence of sexual grooming".

Then prime minister Tony Abbott and his immigration minister Peter Dutton at the swearing-in ceremony of inaugural Border Force commissioner Roman Quaedvlieg in 2015.

"I call on him to formally withdraw that comment".

After Dutton slammed errors in it, Quaedvlieg had to change his account of the alleged intervention of a Dutton staffer in one of the au pair cases.

Mr Dutton told Parliament Mr Quaedvlieg was providing information to Labor, which the Opposition was using as the basis for parliamentary questions.

"You have been out there with your wet lettuce talking to journalists".

Dutton has not yet responded to the latest claims, but the widening of the au pair issue from the three previously-reported cases to a possible fourth will put further pressure on the embattled minister.

He said the only "logical conclusion" was there was a third case yet to come to light.

"They can carry on all they like".

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"If you have a suggestion to the contrary, I would be happy to hear it", said Dutton, though he didn't appear at all happy.

Shortly after Question Time, Roman Quaedvlieg tweeted incredulously about the minister's "rambling" comments.

The Senate inquiry, which had been due to report this week, has now been extended until next week.

Senators on the inquiry have already received email leaks from within the Home Affairs department.

The officer, said Dutton, his expression beginning to approximate thunder, had simply applied for a job with the Australian Border Force, and "there was no interference with that process, he went through the organisational requirements, and was employed by Australian Border Force, and did so completely on merit".

Under the protection of parliamentary privilege, the minister declared on Tuesday that Quaedvlieg was "a man who had groomed a girl 30 years younger than himself".

And he told Parliament: "This smear is coming from the former Australian Border Force commissioner, a man who was, as commissioner, sacked from his position".

Mr Quaedvlieg has made two submissions to the Senate inquiry that is investigating Mr Dutton's actions involving the visas for the au pairs.

Labor senator Murray Watt said there was a "growing scandal around Peter Dutton".

"He does not have my personal phone number or my personal email address".

But hours later, the email was released, in which Keag wrote what could be described as an informal and familiar email to the minister.

Labor seized on the email as proof of some familiarity between the two men.

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