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Dustin Martin slams Australian government

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 20/02/2017

Richmond AFL star Dustin Martin has slammed the Australian government, branding the deportation of his father Shane as "stupid."

Martin also made an impassioned plea in an interview on The Nine Network's A Current Affair program for his father to be allowed to return to Australia from his exile in New Zealand.

Shane Martin, a former Rebels motorcycle club president was deported in March 2016 when officials ruled he was not of good character and removed him from the country under section 501 of the Australian Migration Act, for associating with criminal enterprise.

New Zealand-born Shane Martin moved to Australia at about age 20.

The 2016 Richmond club best and fairest said that despite his father having a criminal record, which includes drug and assault charges, he should be allowed to return to Australia.

Past charges dating back to 1990 in New Zealand include unlawful assault, burglary, armed with intent and drug offences.

"I'm in a footy club, he's in a bikie club. He's done nothing wrong," Dustin Martin said.

"I wake up every day hoping to get a phone call from dad saying, 'Guess what I'm coming back',

"If he was a criminal I'd cop it, but they've just taken him away for association.

"Fair enough if he'd done something then you'd cop your whack, but to just be taken away for no reason - breaking up the family - I think it's pretty stupid."

"Just because he's in a club, you can't just say that he's doing something wrong."

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton has a different viewpoint though, and said that Shane Martin was deported for a reason.

"Those criminals we are looking at are those who are identified by the police around the country and intelligence agencies -- they are the highest-value targets," Dutton said.

"They can protest their innocence. Mr Martin and others can draw their own conclusions. But this man was part of an outlaw motorcycle gang, and is a man who was president (of the club) in New South Wales."

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