THE man behind the petition that has put Australian immigration minister in the spotlight says he wasn’t out to fault the government. Diane Leow reports.
Adrian De Luca, the man responsible for the petition that has placed Australian immigration minister Scott Morrison under media scrutiny says he “started the campaign not to fault the government”.
“In fact, I want to extend our hand and work with them,” Mr De Luca told Meld.
Mr De Luca confirmed that Mr Morrison has arranged for the Australian consulate in Ho Chi Minh City to get in touch with Mr Duong. He said Mr Duong is currently applying for a new student visa.
“If this student visa gets approved, Minh and myself will want to meet Mr Scott Morrison and shake his hand,” he said.
The musician had befriended Mr Duong after hearing about the attack, assisting him with his recovery and accompanying Mr Duong during his travels to visit his family in Vietnam.
Mr De Luca decided to start the petition when Mr Duong ran into trouble with his visa and was banned from re-entering Australia to complete his final year of studies.
Today, Australia’s immigration minister Scott Morrison spoke out against the media’s handling of the issue, rejecting claims he refused to intervene.
Mr Morrison said he did not have the discretionary powers implied through media reports on the issue.
“To suggest that I have chosen not to intervene is incorrect and misrepresents the situation,” he said in a statement.
“As advised to media reporters yesterday, I have no legal authority to intervene in Mr Duong’s case.
“There is no application currently before my department from Mr Duong or any decisions of the Migration Review Tribunal presented to me for intervention.”
Mr Morrison said he was “disappointed” these facts were not included in media reports.
He accused the media of “creating the impression” that he and the Government were “insensitive to both the horrific attack suffered by Mr Duong and the issues raised by his supporters”.
“(It) is unhelpful both to the handling of the person’s case and communication with the potential applicant,” he said.