The Brownlow Favourite, The Bikie, And The Devastating Dutton Decision
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The father of Brownlow Medal favourite Dustin Martin will not be able to attend the presentation at Melbourne's Crown Palladium on September 25, after Immigration Minister Peter Dutton stepped in and denied him a visa.
"Shane Martin's visa was cancelled for the safety of the Australian community because of his criminal record and association with outlaw motorcycle gangs," Dutton's office said in a statement.
"He [Shane Martin] should have thought about the consequences of his actions on his family and the victims of crimes at the time of his offending."
Richmond superstar Martin is expected to win Brownlow this year. He's so heavily favoured, the bookies' odds of $1.06 mean he's statistically 16 times more likely to win it than not win it.
Had last year's winner Patrick Dangerfield not been suspended for a tackle which to many eyes looked innocuous, the Geelong star would also be strongly in the running.
But the medal looks to be Martin's for the keeping, and there are people at AFL headquarters who would be quietly squirming at the prospect of a man who once had to apologise after threatening a female restaurant patron with a chopstick winning the league's prestigious best-and-fairest award.
It would have been potentially an even worse look if Martin's dad had attended. But the Government has stepped in. As The Age reports, on Monday Dutton had an amendment passed to the Migration Act to stop Martin's father, and up to 20 other people whose visas have been cancelled, from re-entering Australia.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull stuck by his minister on Melbourne radio station 3AW on Thursday.
"His [Dustin Martin's] father has had his visa cancelled because of his criminal record and association with outlaw motorcycle gangs," Turnbull said.
"People who are outlaw motorcycle gang members, who are criminals or threats to national security cannot stay in the country".
Dutton later told Triple M that he feels for the Martin family in the circumstances, but reiterated his point that he had to "take into consideration not only those people that have been victims of crimes committed by outlaw motorcycle gang members and those associated with them, but also the future impact".
Martin, 26, announced last week that he would remain with Richmond in a seven-year deal worth $8m despite some huge offers from rival clubs. Shane Martin appeared on The Footy Show after that.
"Love you son and I'm very proud, from my heart," he said. "To be just taken away for no reason and breaking up the family. I think it's pretty stupid."