Peter Dutton is well known for his gaffes over the years. Picture: AAP
Peter Dutton is well known for his gaffes over the years. Picture: AAP

What do we really know about Peter Dutton?

ULTRA conservatives in the government would rather dump Malcolm Turnbull as prime minister than move on same-sex marriage, it would seem.

And according to reports, they've got just the man for the job in Peter Dutton.

He's a former policeman turned Liberal member for Dickson and serves in cabinet as the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, soon to be Home Affairs Minister.

But what else do we know about the figure who just 10 per cent of people polled thought would make a better PM?

BRISBANE BORN AND BRED

Peter Dutton was born to childcare worker Ailsa Leitch and builder Bruce Dutton on November 18, 1970.

One of four children, he was raised in the northern Brisbane suburb of Boondall.

He boasted a strong work ethic and mowed lawns and delivered newspapers as a kid, before getting a job at a butcher's shop at 12.

He graduated high school from St Paul's College and went on to receive a Bachelor of Business from the Queensland University of Technology.

Peter Dutton was elected in 2001 in the seat of Dickson in Queensland. Picture: Nathan Richter.
Peter Dutton was elected in 2001 in the seat of Dickson in Queensland. Picture: Nathan Richter.

 

POLITICAL AMBITION

The youngster's interest in politics developed early and he was just 18 when he signed up as a member of the Young Liberals in 1988.

Just a year later, Dutton unsuccessfully ran as the candidate for the seat of Lytton at the Queensland State Election.

From there, he climbed through the ranks of the youth arm.

Dutton was elected to federal Parliament in late 2001 and served as a minister in the Howard Government.

As the 2010 election approached, polling showed he was at risk of losing Dickson and a rattled Dutton attempted to jump ship to a seat on the Gold Coast.

Locals weren't pleased, given he had no plans to relocate there, and he lost a preselection bid. Despite the optics of briefly abandoning his electorate, he was re-elected in Dickson in 2010.

BOY IN BLUE

Dutton graduated from the police academy in 1990 and was a member of the Queensland Police Force for nine years. He worked as a detective across the drug squad and sex offender's unit.

FAMILY MAN

Dutton's first marriage occurred when he was 22 and lasted only a few months. He married his second wife Kirilly in 2003. He has two sons and a daughter.

Peter Dutton with his now-wife Kirilly pictured during his 2001 election campaign.
Peter Dutton with his now-wife Kirilly pictured during his 2001 election campaign.

 

PROPERTY TYCOON

He was just 18 when he bought his first property.

While he was a copper, Dutton also worked with his dad on various building projects and through their own business they ran renovating and selling childcare centres.

He and his wife Kirilly have a number of investments together, including a shopping centre in Townsville and a $2 million beachfront mansion on the Gold Coast.

CONTROVERSIAL VIEWS

Dutton's hard-line stance on immigration has seen him garner plenty of controversy over the years.

He is also opposed to marriage equality and in 2008 when then-Prime Minister Kevin Rudd delivered an apology to the Stolen Generation, he refused to applaud.

He was the Minister for Health for just a year, after which the influential Australian Doctor magazine declared him the worst ever.

 

POTATO HEAD

A section of the internet rather unkindly refers to Dutton as Mr Potato Head, saying he resembles the dirt-growing vegetables.

It's a resemblance that has spawned many a meme. And it's a nickname that even echoes through the halls of Parliament, Fairfax noted in a profile on Dutton.

"People never spoke about John Howard's charisma," he said in that interview. "At many times during John Howard's career, he was deeply unpopular."

PLENTY OF GAFFES

He drafted a text to a colleague about a female journalist he labelled "a mad f***ing witch" and then accidentally sent it to her.

He joked about climate change causing ocean levels to rise and destroy island nations, beneath a boom microphone.

And he declared there was a "mistake made" in the past when it came to Lebanese immigration levels.

News Corp Australia


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