Karl Stefanovic calls Peter Dutton ‘un-Australian’ over his refugee comments

Today Show host Karl Stefanovic has fired back at Immigration Minister Peter Dutton over his comments about refugees coming into

Today Show host Karl Stefanovic has fired back at Immigration Minister Peter Dutton over his comments about refugees coming into Australia.

Mr Dutton made headlines yesterday when he said that most refugees coming into Australia would be “illiterate and innumerate” and would “steal Australian jobs”.

While he received backing from Malcolm Turnbull and Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, many people took issue with his comments, including Karl.

Speaking on his show this morning, Karl ripped into Mr Dutton calling him “un-Australian”.

“Regardless of politics there was something about Peter Dutton’s comments yesterday that did not sit well with many Australians including myself and [sports presenter] Tim Gilbert,” Karl said.

Karl is of Serbian heritage and his family spent time in an refugee camp in Wollongong when they first came to Australia.

“My grandparents were the same they spent a year in an immigration camp in Wollongong,” he said.

“[My grandfather] got a job working the coal for BHP, stayed there for 30 years.

“They built a house with their own hands in Bellambi and built a life for their grandchildren to enjoy.”

He went on to say the country was built on “so many pillars including those who come from far away lands with not much more than hope and a drive for a better life for their families”.

Karl then brought the conversation around to his co-host, sports presenter Tim Gilbert, and his family.

“Timmy’s mother came here as a little girl from Lebanon with her parents just before the Second World War.

“A family with little English and little money. They got busy though working as hawkers, graduating to their own businesses, quickly picking up the lingo.

“They helped make this a better place. They helped make modern Australia.”

Clearly passionate about the issue, Karl called on Mr Dutton to apologise for his comments.

“In defending his comments yesterday, Mr Dutton appears to have cherrypicked statistics which don’t reflect the findings of his own department.

“It’s a cliche but what Peter Dutton said yesterday was un-Australian.

“Given his time again he may have chosen a different way to articulate it.

“But what’s done is done and I think he needs to apologise.

“Not only for those arriving now but for those who have come and now gone, giving their blood, sweat and tears and have handed down their values to the next generations who are many of our leaders today.”

The segment received a mix response from viewers with some applauding Karl for calling out the Minster and others taking to social media to call it “a load on crap”.

Since Mr Dutton made his comments, data has arisen which shows his comments were in fact incorrect and that most refugees who come to Australia are literate and numerate in their own language.

Statistics show that 17 per cent of males and 23 per cent of females are illiterate and innumerate, while the rest – over three quarters of them – can read and write just fine.

The complicated topic has many other factors though that are making some people weary about accepting refugees into the country.

Although much of Australia was built by refugees who came to the country last century, many people are shying away from welcoming anymore.

The nation seems to be split down the middle between those who support refugees coming into the country and those who don’t.

What do you think about Karl’s comments? Does he have a point? Do you support refugees coming to Australia?

  1. Totally agree with Karl’s comments. Peter seems to be floundering for something good to say – but “we stopped the boats”. A similar outcry made years ago when Italians & other nationalities came here as migrants. They were willing to work hard for long hours on roads & other manual jobs, sending money home to their families in Italy. Australians were up in arms saying “they are taking our jobs!” but the migrants were very good workers. What about all the migrant workers who successfully helped in the great Snowy Mountains scheme &

    • helen davis  

      the migrants that arrived here years ago were prepared to work and did not expect hand outs the middle eastern people do not fit in with our way of life and just want us to change our way to fit in with the way they want to live they will never assimilate and there are plenty of muslim countries that would accept them

  2. John  

    Not much use if refugees’ are ‘literate & numerate IN THEIR OWN LANGUAGE’, coming to an only English speaking country!

    It takes time to ‘pick up the lingo’, Karl, & in the meanwhile, they’re getting Centrelink money, which we, as Taxpayers’, provide.

    Disagree with Karl’s comments, & at anytime, really.

  3. Ted Jaeger  

    My father came out as a migrant and worked on the Snowy scheme, saved up to get the family out here, and then we assimilated into the community, as did most migrants. The exception now is that the middle eastern migrants who are Muslims, in a lot of cases, don’t assimilate because their religion forbids it. You only need to look at ABS statistics to see how many are dependent on welfare, and for how long. Look at England, and see what happened there. As for the Australian Grand Mufti, I think he has been here for 18 years, and can’t, or won’t speak English! In this case I agree with Dutton, and also Putin, who has stated minorities in Russia accept Russian customs and culture, or go somewhere else.

    • You are spot on Ted! Peter Dutton is talking present tense and his assessment of these so called refugees is correct! Talk back radio yesterday was full of calls from past migrants fully supporting Dutton. As usual, the leftist media has intentionally taken the comments out of context. Do these fools want to see what is happening in Europe happen in Australia? We’ve got enough trouble already with garbage like the Apex Gang in Melbourne and the constant threat to Australian security from a cult which has no intention of assimilating!

  4. Pam Nicholls  

    Peter Dutton is a disgrace at the best of times. Very disappointed that Julie Bishop sunk low enough to buy into the argument and that the PM showed his usual weak self. If that’s the calibre of the Turnball team, roll on the election. The Libs are totally out of touch.

  5. Deirdre King  

    Fully support Mr Dutton, bring him on as Prime Minister

    • Anne Wolski  

      Yep with him as PM we are pretty much guaranteed a civil war. He is a moron who cares about nothing other than his hip pocket. He has destroyed families including little children and anyone who supports him is as evil as he is

    • Susan  

      Let Karl pay for all the Centrelink payments, Medicare, Education, English Language Lessons etc, etc. we need to look after our people who have contributed to the economy !,

  6. Faye Dapiran  

    I don’t always agree with Karl, but i do in this case. What a dreadful thing for Dutton to say. How insulting to all the former refugees and migrants who have come here. He should apologise. All of us have migrants and/or refugees in our ancestry, except indigenous people. It is not just unAusralian to say what he did, but it is wrong, and quite disgraceful. I could go on with all the cases I know personally, of people who came here and what they have achieved and contributed to this country, and I am sure many others on this web site could too. I am appalled by his comments.

  7. Marjorie Miller  

    Those immigrants who came out in the early days did work hard and made a new life for themselves before there was any welfare in Australia. The illegal refugees have paid to come past several safe countries but chose to bypass them because they know we have a welfare system that will give them more than many Australian born people have.

    • Faye Dapiran  

      So how many actual refugees do you know? So you are saying that people form Lebanon, Sri Lanka, Sudan, etc, etc don’t work? That is jut so wrong. They do not get welfare when they arrive and they are not eligible for Medicare for about 3 years. They would never, ever receive more than people born here, why would they? We are a wealthy country, like Canada, the US and many countries who take refugees. Yes, they come form poor countries, poor countries that are war torn, where they have no doubt lost family members, and lived in danger, or been mistreated and tortured themselves. So we have to dislike them for wanting to come to our wonderful safe country, and refuse to welcome them. Very sad.

  8. Colin Ross  

    Peter Dutton is completely correct and just pointing out the facts as they are it is costing us millions to bring in these refugees and keep them when we are already in debt for billions and it’s okay for the do gooders to say they willget jobs and pay taxes but this may take another 40years and we are just getting further in debt while we are waiting .I think people need to get their head out of the sand and become realistic.

  9. Michael Cole  

    What would you expect from a lefty like Karl…Migrants of 60 years ago can’t be compared to those arriving now…They’ve come for different reasons…

    • Mia Van Der Stam  

      Yep, todays migrants are absolutely nothing like the earlier migrants. Australia is no longer safe since the latest migrants arrived. Karl needs to do a bit more research.

  10. Is Peter Dutton wrong? NO what are people thinking he just stated a fact he did not put anybody down or belittle them just stated that they were illiterate and innumerate SO WHAT.

    • Susan Bell  

      And his fact was wrong. Let us start, they are illegal refugees, they are refugees. We should be dragged before the world courts for our treatment of refugees. It costs far far more to keep them locked up than it would to bring them into our society. More refugees are literate and numerate than those who are uneducated. It has been shown time and time and time again that refugees and migrants make our economy better, increases jobs and keeps us humane.
      The policies and actions we are witnessing our Australian government taking are making us a pariah nation, we have become a greedy, cruel, non compassionate nation, I am deeply ashamed of our politicians and the people who support these cruel policies. And what will we do when the next flood of refugees come from the Pacific Islands. Will we accept that our greed and refusal to protect the environment has led to island nations losing their lands as sea levels rise, 3 islands already gone or will we lock them up, abuse, demean and even kill them or will we continue to pretend we are a great country helping those that need help.

  11. The difference between the Migrants now & Karl’s family is, they wanted to learn our customs & get along mixing with Australians. The new Migrant wants us to change to suit their way of life. They need to learn English, at least to be able to communicate, the bill for Interpreters must be costing us a fortune, they earn good money . These people have to have one to speak to all sorts of people in their daily lives.

  12. [email protected]  

    I wish the media would keep their mouth shut about things they know nothing about. The great majority of silent Australians, including those those we can now call real Australians who came here from Italy, Greece, Malta (all who had a Christian background), and those from Vietnam, China, India and many other countries, who had a completely different religious background, all of whom who came here to accept what we have to offer, live in peace, accept our laws and way of life, work hard, are actually I find very strongly against Muslim migrants.
    Why – because Muslims will NOT accept our way of life and want, in fact insist, that we change, want their own laws and do not accept ours. It is time the people of Australia said enough!.
    Look what is happening in Europe. What a tragedy, after all the pain and suffering and wars it took for peace to occur, Europe is now in chaos, including the UK.
    Start to write to your politicians become vocal before it’s too late.

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