Updated: Nov 6
Peter Dutton is a member of the Liberal Party and current Leader of the Opposition. He assumed the role in May 2022 following the party's defeat in the Federal Election and former Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, exiting as leader of the party. Mr. Dutton had previously lost the leadership contest of the Liberal Party to Scott Morrison in 2018.
Under the Morrison government, Mr. Dutton was the Minister for Defence. He had served as Minister for Home Affairs from 2017 to 2021, Immigration and Border Protection from 2014 to 2017, and for Health and Sport from 2013 to 2014.
Opposition to Wind Farms, Calls for Nuclear Power
In October of 2023 Mr. Dutton described a wind farm in the Hunter region of New South Wales as "fast growing into a national scandal," and labelled the potential environmental impacts of the project as “an absolute travesty.”
Peter Dutton has suggested a wind farm project in the Hunter region of New South Wales is growing into a "national scandal" after local community groups expressed concerns.
The project, which was announced by the federal government in July of 2023 encompasses an area of roughly 1800 square kilometres situated between Port Stephens and Swansea, has been criticised by some community groups who are concerned about the site’s potential impact on fishing and tourism.
Mr. Dutton expressed his concern regarding the project:
“We’re all in favour of renewable energy, but not at any cost, and not where you’re destroying jobs and livelihoods and the environment…The government hasn’t done its homework. We don’t know about the environmental impacts on rare bird species. We don’t know the impact on the seabed. You know, there are so many elements to this.”
The comments follow Mr. Dutton’s calls for nuclear energy to enter as a “companion” to Australia’s energy sector. In July of 2023 Mr. Dutton spoke at an event arranged by the Institute of Public Affairs where he was expected to call for a public discussion regarding removing the legislative ban on nuclear power in Australia. The speech followed Mr. Dutton expressing similar sentiments, including in a Tweet from August of 2022:
“It is high time that Australia had an honest and informed debate on the benefits and costs of nuclear energy.”
Notably, such a step was not taken during the 9 years wherein the Liberal National coalition was in government and where Mr. Dutton served as a senior minister.
Connections to Eddie Kocwa & SCD Holdings
In March of 2022, the Friendlyjordies team revealed a series of connections between Mr. Dutton and SCD Remanufactured Vehicles. Mr. Dutton is acquainted with both Eddie Kocwa, owner of SCD Remanufactured Vehicles, and Claude Sorbello, who provided an endorsement of Mr. Dutton.
In 2019 Mr. Dutton was featured in a promotional video for SCD American Vehicles. Titled 'The Baddest MP', the video features Peter Dutton arriving at SCD American Vehicles, meeting and interacting with the staff and examining the building and its vehicles with DMX's 'X Gon' Give It To Ya' played throughout.
Leaked emails between the pair also reveal that Mr. Kocwa offered to assist Mr. Dutton in the 2019 election and that Mr. Kocwa lobbied Mr. Dutton's office to give SCD Remanufactured Vehicles 'essential business' status. The leaked emails show that this request was to be reviewed by the Prime Minister's office and that further communication would follow.
NKW Holdings Contract
In his role as Home Affairs Minister, Mr. Dutton granted a Papua New Guinea-based company, NWK holdings an $82 Million contract to house and feed refugees. Leaked emails revealed that this contract was awarded at a time when the company was struggling, serving as a "much-needed lifeline." At this same time, NKW Holdings was on the Bank South Pacific's "watch list" for unpaid debts.
Leaked emails revealed that, following the company being engaged for the contract, the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection began 'paying every invoice,' with the Bank South Pacific Manager responsible for the NKW account assuring colleagues as well as commenting: “I suspect there are some inflated quotations and invoices."
The Australian taxpayer was paying $1400 per person per day to house and feed 209 asylum seekers in West Lorengau Haus and Hillside Haus to NKW. Another leaked email revealed furthermore that while landowners were paid $30,000 per month for the lease of these camp sites, NWK was paid more than $500,000 per month by the department of Home Affairs for access to the sites.