Wed at 1:22pm
Richmond footballer Dustin Martin with his father Shane Martin, who was
deported in 2016. (Instagram: Dustin Martin)
The Federal Court has quashed a decision
to cancel the visa of Richmond Tigers star Dustin Martin's father, Shane Martin.
Mr Martin was deported to New Zealand in 2016, after
then immigration minister Peter Dutton cancelled his visa citing his criminal
record and links to an outlaw bikie gang.
The orders were allowed by consent, meaning lawyers for
Mr Dutton did not fight the final outcome, in court in Sydney yesterday.
When Mr Dutton's lawyers foreshadowed dropping the case
late last year, the Home Affairs Department argued the outcome would not result
in Mr Martin being allowed to re-enter Australia.
Mr Martin would have to apply for a visa to return,
which is available on arrival in Australia because he is a New Zealand citizen.
But that application would carry with it the same
character test under which he was deported, which means it is unlikely he would
be allowed in.
Quashing the cancellation of the visa is based on a
technicality. At the time of making the decision, the Minister said Mr Martin
was or had been a member of a criminal organisation.
In other cases, the court had found that a Minister had
to make a definite decision, rather than present an 'either or' prospect, when
making such a ruling deemed to be in the national interest.
"Had Shane been in Australia when this decision was
made, he would probably be a free man in Australia," Mr Martin's lawyer John
Kotsifas told the ABC.
"But unfortunately, he was deported to New Zealand and
not in Australia at the relevant time.
"In Shane Martin's case he had no criminal history
which would entitle the Minister to cancel his visa with confidence, so he
relied on other grounds which the courts have found to be invalid."
The Federal Court also ordered the Commonwealth to pay
Mr Martin's legal costs.