Hugh Riminton story raises doubts over govt minister

TEN Eyewitness News senior reporter Hugh Riminton landed an apparent scoop yesterday when he revealed home affairs minister Peter Dutton’s business interests could disqualify him from parliament.

Riminton revealed Dutton’s interest in two Brisbane child care centres, are for-profit operations owned by RHT Family Trust.

Dutton’s Parliamentary register declares he is a “beneficiary” of the RHT Family Trust, along with his wife and children.

But a change in the law, for which Dutton voted, means the two childcare centres, along with most others in the country, now receive direct subsidies from the Commonwealth. Under Section 44(v) of the Constitution, any person with “any direct or indirect pecuniary interest with the Public Service of the Commonwealth” is disqualified from Parliament.

The information comes at a time when Dutton’s name is being used for a potential leadership spill.

A spokesman for the minister told AAP on Monday: “Mr Dutton’s legal advice clearly states there is no breach of Section 44.”

Riminton’s story, which he credits to researcher Kate Doak and denies was a leak, was widely reported across media last night.


    • Except it’s not “at least 12 months old” – the (potential) breach of S44(v) only began on July 2 2018, when the childcare centres his family owns started being subsidised directly by the government.

      Try reading the actual story, rather than attempting to dismiss it just because it makes your preferred political party look bad…

      • Then its 2 month old news, and as many constitutional law experts have said he doesn’t profit from the Government the parents who send their children to the day care centre receive the Government subsidies..

        • a) So just exaggerated by more than a 6 times, huh?

          b) “A spokesman for Dutton said he had legal advice that “clearly states” his business interests are not in breach of the section” does not equal “many constitutional law experts have said he doesn’t profit from the Government”. The only ‘consititutional law experts’ I can see that have spoken about the current reports have stated there seems to be at least an “arguable case” against Dutton.

          c) Parents no longer receive the subsidy – it is now paid directly to the centres (i.e. the owners) by the Government.

          d) David, I thought your Comments Policy frowned on that sort of personal attack?

          • Not trying to favour any party, just stating that it is old news.
            What personal attack are you on about in part (d) of your post??

          • Speculating on political leanings, much like a network alliance, is probably more robust comment than an attack but I accept it comes down to wording and have addressed, thanks.

        • Clearly (?) you didn’t see the constitutional lawyers on TEN News. “It’s a matter for the High Court”.
          “the parents who send their children to the day care centre receive the Government subsidies.” Not quite. “We pay the subsidy directly to your child care provider to reduce the fees you pay.”
          “But the real power of trusts, the magic, is that they don’t actually pay tax.” Australian Tax Office deputy commissioner Michael Cranston in an interview with Fairfax Media.

  1. carolemorrissey

    This is like the Barnaby Joyce saga all over again. People on twitter have been talking about this for months. Seems to take our ‘media’ a bit longer to catch up.

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