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Peter Dutton says settling Lebanese refugees was a ‘mistake’

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton suggests the Fraser government made a mistake allowing Lebanese refugees into Australia in 1970s.

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton has told parliament that Malcolm Fraser’s government made a mistake in allowing Lebanese refugees to come to Australia in the 1970s.

During Question Time on Monday Mr Dutton said that a majority of people charged with terrorist-related offences are second and third generation Lebanese-Muslim Australians.

“The advice I have is that out of the last 33 people who have been charged with terrorist-related offences in this country, 22 of those people are from second and third generation Lebanese-Muslim background,” Mr Dutton said.

Yesterday’s statements came after opposition leader Bill Shorten asked Mr Dutton to clarify some comments he made to Sky News last week.

On Sky Mr Dutton was discussing the the recent gang activity in Victoria involving youths of African – in particular, Sudanese background, and he had said that there were lessons to be learnt from past migrant programs.

“The reality is Malcolm Fraser did make mistakes in bringing some people in the 1970s and we’re seeing that today,” Mr Dutton told Sky.

“We need to be honest in having that discussion. There was a mistake made.

“Lessons from past migrant programs should be learnt for people settling in Australia today.”

Labor MP Tim Watts took to his Facebook to label the comments “extraordinary”.

“The Minister for Immigration seems to think that criminal behaviour by ‘second and third generation migrants’ (AKA ‘Australians’, AKA the grandchildren of migrants) is attributable to immigration policy,” he wrote.

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