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    27 Things You Need To Know About Peter Dutton (The Man Who Could Be Our Next Prime Minister)

    Let's check the tape.

    1. Meet Peter Craig Dutton. He's the Liberal member for Dickson in Queensland and widely speculated to be the man most likely to challenge prime minister Malcolm Turnbull for the top job.

    Lukas Coch / AAPIMAGE

    After the Coalition's disastrous result in Longman in the Super Saturday by-elections, there is a possibility that Dutton could lose his seat at the next election.

    “There’s something quite noble in coming forward to steer the party away from possible election defeat,” is how one pro-change conservative put it to BuzzFeed News. Think Kevin Rudd in 2013 trying to save the furniture.

    Dutton told 2GB radio on Thursday that: “I’m not going to be part of the cabinet and then bag the prime minister out. Now, if my position changes – that is, I get to a point where I can’t accept what the government’s proposing, or I don’t agree – then the Westminster system is very clear. You resign your commission, you don’t serve in that cabinet. And you make that very clear in a respectful way.”

    Leaving many to ask — is it on?

    2. Only 10.5% of people polled by ReachTEL last year thought that Dutton would make the best Liberal prime minister.

    .@dailytelegraph reports Aus. conservatives will install Dutton (10.5%) as PM rather than allow same sex marriage.

    3. Dutton was born on November 18, 1970 to childcare worker Ailsa Leitch and builder Bruce Dutton.

    Mick Tsikas / AAPIMAGE

    He grew up in the northern Brisbane suburb of Boondall with three siblings.

    Dutton described his family in his first speech as a "typical, small business, middle-class family". His great grandparents started a dairy farm in northern Brisbane in the 1860s.

    4. Dutton studied a bachelor of business at Queensland University of Technology before working as a police officer from 1990 to 1999.

    Lukas Coch / AAPIMAGE

    He worked as a detective in the drug squad and sex offender’s unit, but left to join his father's building business.

    5. Dutton joined the Liberal party when he was 18.

    Alan Porritt / AAPIMAGE

    A conservative monarchist, Dutton had had an unsuccessful tilt at the Queensland state seat of Lytton in 1989.

    In 1990 he was elected as the chair of the Bayside Young Liberals and in 2000 as secretary of the Liberal party's Brisbane branch.

    6. Dutton also bought his first property at age 18.


    According to his register of members' interests he currently owns five properties.

    And a tractor worth more than $7,500.

    7. Dutton has been married to his second wife Kirilly since 2003 and has three children.

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    8. Dutton was elected to federal parliament in 2001 at the age of 30.

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    And on the far right that's trade minister Steve Ciobo!

    9. In his first speech Dutton complained that the "boisterous minority and politically correct" had a disproportionate say in public debate.

    Alan Porritt / AAPIMAGE

    "The silent majority, the forgotten people – or the aspirational voters of our generation, as some like to term them – are fed up with bodies like the Civil Liberties Council and the Refugee Action Collective, and certainly the dictatorship of the trade union movement."

    10. Dutton highlighted national security as the most significant issue challenging Australia and called for more jail time for criminals.

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    "At this point in time it is stating the obvious that in my opinion the courts are not representing the views in the ... broader community. Time after time we see grossly inadequate sentences being delivered to criminals whose civil rights have far exceeded those of the victim and others in our society."

    11. Dutton has been given the unkind nicknames of "potato" and "Mr Potato Head" by Twitter.

    Peter Dutton: a potato with a chip on his shoulder.

    12. Dutton was a minister in the Howard government; first as the minister for workforce participation (2004-06) and then revenue and assistant treasurer (2006-07).

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    Here's Dutton with former prime minister John Howard and his wife Janette at a primary school in Petrie near Brisbane in 2007.

    13. When then Labor prime minister Kevin Rudd delivered an apology to the Stolen Generation in 2008, Dutton boycotted the speech.

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    14. An opponent of marriage equality, Dutton told pro-equality CEOs to “stick to their knitting”, and said the Turnbull government “would not be bullied” into changing its stance on gay marriage.

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    Dutton was a key architect of the non-compulsory, non-binding postal survey on same-sex marriage.

    15. In the Abbott government Dutton was the sport and health minister (2013-14) before becoming immigration and border protection minister (2014).


    16. Doctors overwhelmingly voted Dutton the worst health minister in living memory, in a 2015 poll by Australian Doctor magazine.

    As health minister Dutton attempted to introduce a $7 Medicare co-payment and made huge cuts to his portfolio.

    “Dutton will be remembered as the dullest, least innovative and most gullible for swallowing the reforms from his think tank ... Although I am glad he has been demoted, it would have been good if he was still around to take responsibility for the current chaos he has caused," Tasmanian GP Dr Donald Rose said.

    17. Also in 2015, Dutton was caught by a boom microphone joking with then prime minister Tony Abbott about climate change in the Pacific.

    View this video on YouTube

    “Time doesn’t mean anything when … you’re about to have water lapping at your door,” Dutton said in September 2015 after Abbott attended a South Pacific Forum in Port Moresby.

    18. Dutton claimed Fairfax Media was waging a "bit of a jihad" against the Abbott government in 2015, when he was unhappy with its political coverage.

    Here are @PeterDutton_MP's comments regarding a 'jihad' against the Government in some sections of the media.

    19. Dutton became a meme in 2016 when his staff instructed reporters to delete a rather awkward looking photo of him.

    20. Dutton is now the head of the new mega department called Home Affairs, which includes Border Force, Australia's spy agency ASIO and the Australian Federal Police.

    Lukas Coch / AAPIMAGE

    That puts Dutton in charge of: ASIO, the Australian Federal Police, the Australian Border Force, the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission, the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre, and the Aviation and Maritime Security Division.

    21. In 2015 Dutton launched the "Australian Border Force" and the country got a new flag.

    Our glorious new flag design, appropriately flying at half mast. #boundlessplainstoshare

    22. Under Dutton's watch a media release was issued in 2015 suggesting immigration officials would be doing footpath immigration checks in Melbourne. Operation Fortitude was cancelled six hours later.

    Wait… Australian Border Force (fmr Immigration) is conducting a public transport operation in inner city Melbourne?

    23. Dutton upset a lot of people in 2016 when he claimed many refugees who come to Australia "won't be numerate or literate in their own language, let alone English".

    .@PeterDutton_MP says more refugees will take Australian's jobs or languish in unemployment queues #ausvotes #pmlive

    Dutton has tried and failed to implement an English language test for migrants that would require a university standard of language fluency.

    During his time as immigration minister permanent migration numbers have dropped; 162,417 people permanently migrated to Australia in 2017-18, well under the 190,000 cap, and down from 183,608 the year before.

    24. People are worried that new legislation could allow Dutton to call in the army for terrorist incidents, sieges, other acts of "domestic violence", and to protect Commonwealth interests.

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    In Dutton's first speech in 2002, Dutton talked about the balance between civil liberties and law enforcement.

    "I am a strong advocate of the rights of the individual and I am certainly an advocate of minimalist intervention by government in our lives ... We must face the reality that criminals in today's society are well resourced, professionally operated and structured and administered, and must be combated to ensure the fabric of our society remains intact. It is counterproductive in our society when, for example, police are searching for a murder or rape suspect, they know who the offender is, but they are prevented from obtaining any details from government departments, including federal and state departments."

    25. Dutton's great, great grandfather Charles Boydell Dutton was also a politician from Queensland.

    The Queensland Figaro in 1884 described Charles Boydell Dutton as a "squatter of the squatters" and "an out and out Tory in the guise of a Liberal — a wolf in the guise of a lamb...".

    26. Peter Dutton and health minister Greg Hunt share the same birthday — November 18. But Hunt (52) is older than Dutton (47).

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    27. And never forget in 2016, Dutton called journalist Samantha Maiden a "mad fucking witch" in a text message ... and accidentally sent it to her!

    "Hello is that Telstra? This is Peter Dutton. How do you stop a text?" #auspol

    Alice Workman is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Canberra.

    Contact Alice Workman at

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