A confidential proposal by Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton to cut Australia’s immigration rate has been made public in cabinet leak just a day after Malcolm Turnbull suffered his 30th Newspoll loss. Picture: AAP
A confidential proposal by Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton to cut Australia’s immigration rate has been made public in cabinet leak just a day after Malcolm Turnbull suffered his 30th Newspoll loss. Picture: AAP

Dutton's confidential proposal to cut immigration

A CONFIDENTIAL proposal by Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton to cut Australia's immigration rate has been made public in a Cabinet leak just a day after Malcolm Turnbull suffered his 30th Newspoll loss.

The Australian reports the Home Affairs Minister proposed cutting the nation's annual immigration intake by 20,000 last year from 190,000 to 170,000, arguing there was public concern at the immigration rate.

Sources told the publication that Prime Minister Turnbull and Treasurer Scott Morrison rejected the plan, although it was backed by Former Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce.

Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott's recent public calls for a more dramatic cut to the immigration rate - reducing it by 80,000 to 110,000 - were emphatically rejected by several senior government ministers in February.

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton reportedly proposed cutting the nation’s annual immigration intake by 20,000 last year. Picture Kym Smith
Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton reportedly proposed cutting the nation’s annual immigration intake by 20,000 last year. Picture Kym Smith

The leak also comes after Mr Dutton admitted yesterday he aimed to be Prime Minister one day.

He was asked about his leadership ambitions as Mr Turnbull yesterday suffered his 30th Newspoll defeat - the same deadline he used to justify rolling Mr Abbott for the Liberal leadership in 2015.

Mr Dutton said there was no move against Mr Turnbull's leadership but said it would be a "great honour" to be Prime Minister if the opportunity ever came his way.

Treasurer Morrison and Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg also expressed future leadership ambitions yesterday.

Asked yesterday about Mr Abbott's proposal to reduce immigration numbers, Mr Dutton told Sky News he was not proposing a cut now.

Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott (right) is seen on the road outside of Morwell during the Pollie Pedal Bike Ride through Gippsland. Picture: AAP
Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott (right) is seen on the road outside of Morwell during the Pollie Pedal Bike Ride through Gippsland. Picture: AAP

But he said people were feeling pressures in capital cities and he understood their concerns.

Mr Joyce, who was ousted earlier this year as Nationals leader and Deputy Prime Minister after a scandal surrounding his relationship with former staffer Vikki Campion, yesterday called for Mr Turnbull to do the honourable thing and consider stepping down around Christmas if his standing in opinion polls did not improve.

The call has angered senior Liberals given Mr Joyce's public outrage at any intervention by Liberal MPs into the National Party leadership race when he was under fire earlier this year.

Former Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce and his pregnant partner Vikki Campion pictured at Canberra airport. Picture: Kym Smith
Former Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce and his pregnant partner Vikki Campion pictured at Canberra airport. Picture: Kym Smith

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop responded curtly "I don't agree with Barnaby Joyce, the Prime Minister will lead us to the next election" when asked about his remarks on ABC radio this morning.

Ms Bishop did not rule out running for the leadership herself if it was vacated by Christmas but said she was focused on her current roles.

"I have been elected by my colleagues to be the deputy leader of the Liberal Party, I'm Australia's Foreign Minister so my priority is to focus on the jobs and responsibilities I have now," she said.

Read the full story at The Australian.



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