Subjects: Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation; humanitarian assistance to minority groups in South Africa.
Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton joins us this morning from Brisbane. Minister good morning to you. Obviously child protection is a key area of all policing, how will this change the way that is done?
Good morning guys. This is a $70 million investment into this new centre and it will boost dramatically the resources of the Federal Police, as well as the other Home Affairs agencies including Border Force. We really want to meet this challenge head-on.
We've seen horrifying statistics around this particular matter. This is of grave concern for any parent. One of the stats I was looking at the other day; every nine minutes there's an image of a child being sexually exploited shown on a web page somewhere around the world. There's been 180 per cent increase over the course of the last five years of complaints to the Australian Federal Police.
So this is going to give them a big boost and a big attempt at trying to deal with the scourge and stamp out paedophilia, child trafficking; this is going to make a big difference in the lives of Australian children.
Why is this scourge a growing problem Minister? Is it just that it's being reported more?
There's more reporting Monique, you're right, but there's also the use obviously of technology, of the internet, people can anomalously hide behind screens. But we know within our own region, young children across South East Asia, are being trafficked, they're being put into terrible situations. The live streaming of some of this footage, obviously there's a demand out of countries like Australia. So we need to deal with these paedophiles, with people that would be trafficking in children and the Home Affairs portfolio allows us to bring the agencies together – not just the Federal Police as I say – but the others so that we can look at the financing, look at the cyber element.
This $70 million investment will boost numbers, 30 per cent year-on-year over the next couple of years, so a big injection into the Australian Federal Police's fight against child paedophilia.
A big announcement for you this morning Minister.
We can't let you go without asking about the criticism of your comments this week about Australia fast tracking visas for white South African farmers who might feel that their safety is at risk, or do feel that their safety is at risk. Do you concede now that it is a highly contentious view and can you understand why it has been met with such criticism?
No Monique because I think if you stick to the facts in these matters you're on safe ground and that's exactly what I've done. The fact is that I haven't said that we should prioritise white over black, it's an absurd proposition. I've said that we should look at people who are persecuted, see if they meet the criteria within our humanitarian and refugee program and if they do, then we shouldn't discriminate on skin colour. So there's a lot of rhetoric and there's a lot of hand rubbing, but stick to the facts I think and that's what we've said.
Yes, sorry, just to be clear; when you were saying fast tracking, you weren't saying prioritising. Is it not the same thing?
Never said fast tracking. Again, there's a lot of propaganda around here. People on the left don't like me because of Manus and Nauru. I've got 8,000 children out of detention, I've closed the Manus Island Detention Centre, I've got a mess to clean up, so they use these other issues to try and inject all of this propaganda into these discussions. If you look at what I've said, I've said we shouldn't discriminate on any basis. That's the program, the way in which we've always operated it, and we always will.
Minister Peter Dutton, thanks so much for being with us. We appreciate it.
Thanks guys, take care.