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Dustin Martinís dad Shane is no different to any other banned bikie

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  • DUSTIN Martin may be a good footballer, but it doesnít make his father a good person.

    A special exemption should not be made to allow Dustin Martinís father Shane back into Australia.

    Dutton is right: no one is bleating about the 150 other bikie gang members who the federal government booted out of this country on character grounds.

    So why is Shane Martin any different?

    If Dustin Martin wasnít a famous footballer, few outside of his family would care that his father is no longer welcome in Australia.

    Most people applaud steps taken to ensure some of our most serious criminals are stripped of their rights to live in this country.

    Dustin Martin's father Shane Martin ahead of this yearís grand final. Picture: Alex Coppel.

    Immigration Minister Peter Dutton said yesterday a technicality could see Martin able to apply for a visa, but there was not much likelihood heíd get it.

    Itís not the first time a legal technicality has led to the overturning of such bans; two bikie gang members had bans lifted because they were based on secret legal advice.

    I know there is a lot of sympathy for the Martin family, who want their patriarch home for Christmas. But we also have to think of all of the families who have lost loved ones as a result of the actions of outlaw bikie gangs.

    Letís not forget that Martin was a leader of a Sydney chapter of the Rebels outlaw motorcycle gang. In recent decades, the club has been responsible for a number of murders, extortion, sexual assaults and shootings, not to mention major drug and weapon-smuggling rings.

    Dustin Martin in action during the AFL grand final. Picture: AAP

    Dustin Martin celebrates with the AFL Premiership Cup. Picture: Getty

    Organised crime authorities say bikie gangs operate as part of a multi-billion-dollar underground economy composed of legal and illegal businesses.

    Justice Minister Michael Keenan told the Herald Sun last year that during the reign of Rebels leader Alex Vella, ďour law enforcement agencies arrested more than 3000 Rebels members and associates on more than 4200 charges ranging from serious assault, kidnapping offences to firearms and drug offencesĒ.

    Since 1990, Shane Martin has been charged with unlawful assault, burglary, armed with intent, criminal damage and resisting police.

    He has also been fined for possessing a restricted substance on four occasions, and in 2004 received a two-month jail sentence, suspended for 12 months, for aiding and abetting in the trafficking of ecstasy.

    Shane Martin may not have had any convictions since 2004, but itís not just about criminal activity, but character.

    The Federal Government must ensure their process is watertight and meets all standards of public accountability, but letís not forget it is not taking away these men without cause.

    The court case has been adjourned until December 19. I am sure emotions will be running high in the lead-up to Christmas, but we must think of the right of all families, not just the Martins.

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