Peter Dutton questions whether Labor has been ‘infiltrated by bikies’ after protest
A co-ordinated anti-LNP protest has begun with a roster of bikies and CFMEU representatives surrounding the Liberal MP’s Dickson electorate office each day brandishing Labor-branded “Save Medicare” election material and makeshift anti-LNP signs.
Photos showing a Rebels member positioned outside Mr Dutton’s office has been published on Facebook page People Against the Anti Bikie Laws. The group advises members to adhere to a protest roster so not to be seen to converge as a gang according to anti-bikie laws.
Mr Dutton has been responsible for cancelling the visas of 90 outlaw motorcycle gang members, earning him few fans among the bikie community.
In an interview on Sky News this morning, Mr Dutton said he would not be intimidated by bikies, and that the matter posed “a serious leadership issue” for Opposition Leader Bill Shorten.
“The interesting thing in this campaign is that they are obviously in concert with the CFMEU and the Labor Party,” he said.
“The Medicare campaign placards and corflutes, and this is obviously a co-ordinated campaign, and I think this will be a real test of Bill Shorten’s leadership.
“Does he condone the bikies in the ALP campaign here in Dickson and elsewhere around the country? There are senior members of the CFMEU who are affiliated with senior members within the Labor administration at a federal level and these people are standing side by side with motorcycle gang members to campaign on Labor’s behalf.”
Mr Dutton accused the Labor leader of being “wholly owned” by the union movement, referencing his handling of the fight over union control for Victoria’s Country Fire Authority.
Mr Dutton called on Mr Shorten to “demonstrate leadership” on the issue.
“Mr Shorten should answer the question today, does he condone that, or will he condemn it and tell the Labor Party to sort this mess out,” he said.
“Because if the Labor Party has been infiltrated by these bikies and the CFMEU and its highest ranks are involved in this campaign, this is a serious eldership issue with Bill Shorten.”
A Labor spokesman labelled Mr Dutton’s attack as “a lame attempt” at a diversion.
“Let’s be clear this was not an event organised by Labor. People are free to express their views and many Queenslanders are worried about Malcolm Turnbull’s plan to privatise Medicare,”
the spokesman said in a staetment to news.com.au.
Mr Shorten is yet to respond directly to Mr Dutton’s accusations. He is today campaigning in Adelaide today where he will release Labor’s “positive plan” for South Australia.