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.