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‘Who is Peter Dutton?’ The MP for the least engaged electorate in Queensland

Joshua Robertson reports in The Guardian Australia (20.5.16) on the north Brisbane federal electorate of Dickson, where the sitting member, Immigration Minister Peter Dutton, has a surprisingly low profile, despite his unflattering comments about refugees dominating recent election campaign headlines.

‘Who is Peter Dutton?” The question from a young woman, sitting in an eatery 500m from the immigration minister’s office, is not an uncommon one in Dutton country. His electorate of Dickson on the northern fringe of Brisbane, which spans outer suburban “aspirational” areas such as Strathpine to the well-to-do semi-rural retreat of Samford Valley, has the distinction of boasting one of the lowest levels of voter engagement in all of Queensland, according to past internal Labor polling.

‘Dutton is on the national media radar after saying refugees were often not “numerate or literate in their own language, let alone English” and would “languish on unemployment queues” or take “Australian jobs”.

‘But despite coming under attack from quarters including the TV personality Karl Stefanovic, who branded Dutton’s comments “un-Australian”, name recognition remains low in Dickson.’

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