on air now

Labor Senator calls on Peter Dutton to apologise over Ruby Princess revelation

Documents submitted to the Special Commission of Inquiry into the Ruby Princess have revealed a Border Force officer confused common flu test results for coronavirus results.

A rapid flu test, which returned a negative result for the listed passengers, was confused for the COVID-19 test results, leading the officer to give informal permission for the ship to disembark.

Home Affair Minister Peter Dutton has denied responsibility, saying the ABF does not have authority to make health decisions.

Labor Senator and shadow home affairs minister Kristina Keneally told Jim Wilson Mr Dutton’s response is a “Trumpian … denial of reality”.

“This isn’t a question about what their legal authority is, this is about what they did.

“I don’t blame this officer, because quite frankly, in the middle of a global pandemic … they didn’t give these poor border force frontline officers the training or the support or the resources they needed.

“They just sent this poor guy onto a ship, and put him, essentially, in charge of making really life and death decisions with no backup, … no double-checking.

“The Prime Minister and Peter Dutton need to not just apologise to the Australian people, but also apologise to Australian Border Force.”

Click PLAY below to hear the full interview

Mr Dutton was invited on 2GB Drive with Jim Wilson to discuss the revelations, but declined.

A spokesperson refuted claims the Border Force was responsible for disembarking passengers, and accused the Labor senator of failing to understand the role of the ABF.