The ONE picture that shows the uphill battle facing Peter Dutton to win the next election
- Only one journalist attended Opposition Leader Peter Dutton’s press conference
- On Wednesday the LNP leader held a conference in Brisbane about new policy
- The Albanese Government will be bringing back 58 former ISIS supporters
- 16 women and 42 children are set to be rescued from al-Roj detention camp
A photo of Opposition Leader Peter Dutton’s latest press conference shows the room was almost empty in a stark indication of the mountain he has to climb to get the attention of Australians.
The odd photo shows Mr Dutton fidgeting in front of several empty chairs at his Brisbane conference on Wednesday, called in response to Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s decision to try and return women and children who formerly supported ISIS to Australia.
It is understood only one journalist, from the ABC, attended the event.
The photo shows the difficulty of attracting media attention when in opposition and could also be a sign Mr Dutton will struggle to change his image from former police and government hardman to statesmanlike leader ahead of the next election.
Only one journalist attended opposition leader Peter Dutton’s press conference on Wednesday (above)
Mr Dutton appeared for the press conference after news Australian security agencies created a top-secret mission to rescue 16 Australian women and 42 children who supported ISIS from Syria’s northeastern al-Roj detention camp near the Iraqi border.
They have been imprisoned since the fall of ISIS in 2019 but will soon be brought back to Australia and kept under tight surveillance.
Mr Dutton attended a briefing about the secret mission with the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) director-general Mike Burgess ahead of the conference on Wednesday.
‘I’m not going to go into the detail of what he’s provided to me,’ Mr Dutton told the reporter.
Mr Dutton emphasised the risks of bringing young people ‘potentially of fighting age’ back into Australia after several years of indoctrination at his conference on Wednesday (above)
‘I must say that I am more strongly of the view now that there is a very significant risk in bringing some of these people to our country that can’t be mitigated, frankly, not to the level that we would require to keep Australians safe.
‘And I think the government really needs to explain properly what it is they’re proposing here.’
Mr Dutton added the thought of young children from Australian parents being born in the war-torn region ‘pained’ him greatly.
‘But where we’ve got young males, potentially of fighting age, who have been indoctrinated over the course of the last decade or so in some instances, where they’ve been living for years now in a camp socialising with people who have either committed terrorist attacks or who have been planning terrorist attacks, we need to take it very seriously,’ he said.
The Australian Government announced it will rescue 16 women and 42 children who were part of ISIS from Syria’s northeastern al-Roj detention camp near the Iraqi border (pictured, ISIS fighters)
‘I accept the advice from the director-general of ASIO in terms of mitigations, and the advice, no doubt, that they’re providing to government.
‘But based on my own experience and knowledge of these matters, and understanding now what it is that the government is proposing, I have grave concerns about national security.’
The Australian Government formerly had a hardline policy that forbade ISIS supporters from re-entering the country under anti-terror laws.
However, intelligence agencies have advised that the harsh conditions Australians stuck in Syrian detention camps face could be used as material to recruit others.
Daily Mail Australia has contacted Peter Dutton’s office for comment.