Subjects: Extinction Rebellion protests; combatting child exploitation; Lawful Access Summit in Washington DC.
Peter Dutton's about to jump on a plane for a very important meeting in Washington. Every Thursday we speak to the Home Affairs Minister. He's on line right now from the airport.
Mr Dutton, good morning.
Good morning Ray.
Now, I know you're not the federal minister for Extinction Rebellion, but it's happening in your hometown. I don't know if you heard my earlier comments; we've got four men, two women locked themselves to a metal barricade in the middle of Creek Street. The band leader, this Serge Herbert lives at home with mummy and daddy in Pelican Waters; charged with obstructing police, causing an obstruction of the roadway; they say he can't go back into the CBD.
There's a 51-year-old called Myles Justin Beaufort from The Gap. He pleaded guilty to charges and $400. A 23-year-old Isabelle Harland [inaudible] $500, she pleaded guilty. Now that's the other thing; she's already on a good behaviour bond for previously protesting, but there's a $1,500 imposition on her, but the court said she can't pay it so we won't impose it on her.
None of them had a conviction recorded. When is this nonsense going to stop Peter Dutton?
Well Ray it's frustrating for everybody, but particularly for those most affected in Brisbane at the moment and it's counterproductive. I mean these people aren't acting within the law. If the courts aren't going to impose a penalty, then again it comes back to the appointments that are made by the State Government.
Over a long period of time in Queensland we've seen some appointments made by successive Labor Governments which I think people have just shaken their head at. There are some good Magistrates and some good Judges, but in the end it's one of the most important things – and when we talk about what a government does in the area of border protection or taxes or whatever it might be, you know, farm assistance, drought assistance etc – but one of the most important things that a government does, I think, is makes appointments to the judiciary because many of these people are there for a long period of time and the decisions that they make impact positively or negatively on a community.
The community expectation is that these people are heavily fined or jailed; and they should be jailed until their behaviour changes because they are putting lives at risk, they're diverting police and emergency service resources from tasks that they should be undertaking otherwise, and yet they keep turning up week after week because they know that the slap on the wrist is just not working.
The Premier needs to come out and explain why this is acceptable and if there needs to be mandatory or minimum sentences imposed, well, that can happen overnight in the Queensland Parliament because they don't have an Upper House and the State Government can pass laws that do reflect community standards – and at the moment, they don't.
Well I don't understand the prospect of Isabelle Harland on a good behaviour bond – which means she's got to be of good behaviour, obviously, and if she's not of good behaviour she surrenders $1,500 – but the Magistrate says oh look, there's no good imposing the $1,500 on you, you can't pay it – and that's where Michaelia Cash can come in – I know that she's taken action against one person at the moment.
By their own admission yesterday, of these people arrested, I think three of them are on some sort of government benefit, be it Newstart or something else. Well, the first thing that should happen is you won't go to work, you're bludgers, you're sitting on your backsides gluing yourself to roads, you won't be getting paid by us. Go back to Pelican Waters and ask mummy and daddy for some cash because we're not giving you any more.
Well I agree; and I tell you the other thing that should happen Ray, is that you know these people are very effective at using social media, trying to rally causes, trying to bully people, you know sending abusive threatening emails to you or to me; well, people should take these names and the photos of these people and distribute them as far and wide as they can so that we shame these people. Shame them because of the actions they've committed and because they're acting outside of the law and against community standards. Let their families know what you think of their behaviour and [inaudible] we've got to push back on this behaviour because it's not acceptable.
You know raiding farms, climbing onto the roof of my electorate office which they do, and then get told by the Magistrate that you know he would be proud of her if his daughter had of done it; all of this we need to push back on because the silent majority as we know get about their business, you know, taking care of their kids or their grandkids, going to work, working hard and whilst we're annoyed at this, a lot of it we let go through to the keeper and we shouldn't. We should push back on it because these people are a scourge. They are doing the wrong thing and it doesn't meet community expectations. If they want to protest do it peacefully and that's how you operate in our community. You don't disrupt traffic and businesses and people going about their lawful business.
Now, I know this is something that you've worked hard on, a Bill you introduced focusing on combating child exploitation. Some of the new offences include failing to report and failing to protect children from sexual abuse, among other recommendations for the Royal Commission.
I just want to share this with you. It's published today in your own newspaper, you may have read it and it's a bit like domestic violence. I mean we can all wear white ribbons every day of the week if we wish, but until the judiciary fall into line with community expectations, we're flogging a dead horse.
Now this one; a Queensland girl's foresight in setting up a time-lapse video while she slept brought to light years; years of her father's offending against her and her sister a court has been told. The recording showed her father, who can't be identified because that would identify her, taking child exploitation images as she slept. It led to other acts being uncovered which were described in the Brisbane District Court, I expect, by the Judge as depraved, sick, and utterly reprehensible. When the girl told her mother, she searched the man's phone where the recordings were discovered and the police were contacted. She's done the right thing. The man refused to give a police interview when arrested in 2018, but yesterday he pleaded guilty to counts of indecent treatment, making child exploitation material, making recordings in breach of privacy. He cried when his solicitor read victim impact statements to him.
Now, I want you to listen to this; the man who's been behind bars for 10 months was sentenced by the same Judge that called him depraved, sick and reprehensible to three years – ha ha – wholly suspended after spending a year in jail.
So the way I read this; two more months in jail and he's out this bastard. I mean we've reframed laws here in New South Wales. When are Queensland going to get on board with putting people like this in jail for a long, long time?
Well Ray we've called for the Palaszczuk Government for a long period of time to get serious on these matters and again it's infuriating. We passed some laws in relation to federal child abuse offences and they required the Judges to impose minimum sentences, because as we discussed I think only a few weeks ago on your show, my highest priority is to protect women and children and we passed laws which mean that people will be sentenced because the courts weren't sentencing them before and it is about community standards and I think the courts need to reflect that.
Now, in this case, I think the State Government should be appealing that case and I think they should be announcing that today because it doesn't send a message of deterrence. In our society in the 21st century, you cannot abuse children, your own children, the kids next door, anywhere in our community and expect not to go to jail. That's the expectation at the moment and what deterrence does it provide?
So I feel as passionately about this issue as any because the lifelong effects on kids that are physically, mentally abused in this circumstance is a price that they carry, you know, not for a suspended three-year period, but for the rest of their lives. It impacts on relationships, on their ability to hold down a job, and we need to make sure that we come down hard on these offenders. There are many cases where they will go on to reoffend and they need to know, as a couple of people have just been arrested have found out – they've been arrested under federal legislation – and the expectation from the Government, from the community is that these people will go to jail.
Just going back to Annastacia Palaszczuk, one of your constituents in your electorate has sent me a note – I reckon I know why Annastacia Palaszczuk will never put a stop to the protesters – this was on her Facebook page last Thursday at 1:13pm: climate change is real. She said: I think it's about time Scott Morrison and the LNP were a little bit more understanding of the issues that Queenslanders and the nation are facing.
So she's not going to…I mean that's what…she thinks they're right, doing what they're doing and while she thinks that's right, she's not going to make any change of the penalties imposed on them obviously.
Well Ray, what Queenslanders are starting to understand – and we really need to deal with this – is Annastacia Palaszczuk might be pleasant, but she's hopeless. She's driven by Jackie Trad; she's completely owned by Jackie Trad and this is why you get Queensland on its knees at the moment.
They're employing tens of thousands of extra public servants; giving them bonuses whilst, you know, there are no roads being constructed; we aren't getting extra police that we need in the community, they're all back-office bureaucrats and that keeps the unions happy and all this, you know, speaking out of one side of the mouth; trying to please the Greens in West End or in the Valley; well that's fine for Annastacia Palaszczuk to do that, but it's not compatible with what she says when she goes out in the mining communities or into the outer metropolitan areas.
The State Government's number is up. I mean people have just had enough of the inaction, and we've got a weak Premier who can't stand up to Jackie Trad or anyone else. Jackie Trad should have been sacked long before now, but she dictates behind the scenes to the government and it provides for bad economic outcomes for our state and in law and order, Queensland is a laughingstock under Annastacia Palaszczuk.
Well I mean, Jackie Trad, she sells the Woolloongabba property – not through a real estate agent or an online facilitator – we don't know what it's been sold for; we don't know whether the duty's been paid on it; we don't know whether agent fees are being paid; we don't know who the purchaser is – it could be Billy Trad for all I know and I don't know if there's a person called Billy Trad – I mean we've got no idea. There's got to be a full disclosure, surely.
Well of course and is she going to claim a tax deduction for the loss that she's made so the taxpayers pick up half of the loss? Look, this is murky and it's dodgy and Annastacia Palaszczuk hasn't stood up because she just doesn't have the strength of character. The sort of nice approach and pleasant is just; I'm sorry, the time's up for that.
We need Queensland to get back on its feet, off its knees, and the State Government at the moment is driving us into the ground. Annastacia Palaszczuk has got question marks all over her because of her association; she's tainted because of her obsession with trying to please Jackie Trad and it needs to stop and I think Queenslanders are starting to call it out.
Okay. Just back where we started, you're going to Washington DC for the Five Eyes meeting, an alliance which takes in us, Canada, New Zealand, United Kingdom, US. You had a meeting in London; we spoke shortly after you came back from there. You've called on major digital platforms Google, Facebook, Apple, Twitter to provide backdoor access to read encrypted criminal content. Any closer to that happening or this meeting another talk fest hoping it'll happen?
No; we're getting further down the track. I mean these companies are really pushing back, but we've got to stand up to them because the same laws that apply out in our suburbs, towns and cities, should apply online and you've got a photograph of a child being sexually abused, the police can seize that with a warrant, but if you send that as a picture, as an attachment on an encrypted messaging app, then police can't discover it.
So it's unacceptable, but these companies have refused to provide the adequate assistance so far and we've really kicked this along again because the number of cases where this child abuse material is being shared online; there are groups where paedophiles are meeting online and protected by these companies. It can't stand.
So the Attorney-General in the United States as well as the Home Secretary in the United Kingdom, the three of us have really been pushing hard on this over the last couple of years. I think we'll get across the line.
But the companies again have to reflect that community standard.
I mean who wants to protect a paedophile?
It's just madness Ray.
They're making billions and billions if not trillions of dollars out of, you know, social media platforms, but you want to protect a paedophile because you believe they've got some sort of right to be protected? I mean it's just lunacy.
They say it undermines their business model, right, believe it or not. So they say that if we allow the police to break into somebody's account knowing that they're a paedophile, part of a chat group with other paedophiles or they've been sending photos backwards and forwards with these encrypted apps, at the moment they're protected and it just doesn't make any sense.
So we're shaming these companies into action and it's got to happen because we can't allow the proliferation online that's taking place. It's doubled in the last 12 months and they'll pull down images, but where encryption is used to protect these paedophiles operating, the companies at the moment won't allow police to have access and it just doesn't make any sense because we can stop children from becoming the next victim to a paedophile; and if we do that, then we've got a safer country and it's safer for kids, you know, not just here, but around the world.
Okay. Safe travels. We'll talk next Thursday. Thanks for your time.
Thanks Ray. See you mate.