Dusty’s dad booted out of Oz … again
THE father of AFL superstar Dustin Martin has been sent back to New Zealand after trying to gain entry to Australia on the grounds of his alleged Aboriginal heritage.
Shane Martin, a former high-ranking member of the Rebels motorcycle gang, arrived in Sydney with a lawyer on Sunday night but was turned away by the Australian Border Force and put on the first available Qantas flight back across the ditch the very next morning.
According to reports, Martin - who was born in New Zealand but lived in Australia for three decades - was claiming he has a grandmother in Tasmania with indigenous heritage.
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His move comes after a landmark ruling in the Australian High Court last week which concluded people with Aboriginal heritage cannot be classed as "aliens" and cannot be deported from Australia on character grounds.
However, this didn't help Martin's chances of being allowed to stay Down Under, and he will need to prove his indigenous heritage from New Zealand.
"The removal followed a decision by the Federal Circuit Court to dismiss Mr Martin's application for an injunction seeking to prevent his removal from Australia," Border Force said.
"Mr Martin's claims of indigeneity will be considered along with any evidence in support of these claims while he is offshore."
Martin was deported back to his native New Zealand in 2016 when he had his visa cancelled on the grounds of his character. He has previously faced charges of assault and burglary, while in 2004 he received a two-month prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, for aiding and abetting in drugs trafficking.
Martin was also fined for drug possession but has previously argued to be allowed to return to Australia, where his kids - including Richmond midfielder Dustin - live.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Border Force was simply doing its job by refusing Martin entry.
"Border Force took swift action … and good for them for doing their job," Mr Morrison said.
"I'd expect them to continue to do their job.
"But as for the government, we will be carefully considering this most recent (High Court) judgment and the implications."
Speaking on the Today Show, Minister for Home Affairs Peter Dutton was firm when asked by Karl Stefanovic if the government would let Martin back in the country.
"No, we won't, Karl," Mr Dutton said. "We've been very clear about making sure that we can keep Australia safe and part of the reason that we kick out people with severe criminal histories, like Mr Martin, is we want to make sure that people don't commit crimes again in our country."
Channel 7 approached Martin at Auckland airport upon his return to New Zealand but he declined to comment.
Dustin is one of the best and most high-profile players in the AFL, claiming the Brownlow Medal in 2017 and winning two premierships with Richmond in 2017 and 2019.
The 28-year-old also won the Norm Smith Medal as best-on-ground in both of those grand final wins.
Last year his dad opened up on how hard it was to watch Dustin play on the biggest stage of all from another country.
"It's pretty hard not to be there but it is what it is," Martin said. "I'm very proud, words can't explain it to be honest.
"I'd love to (watch Dustin play), that is what fathers do and what dreams are made of - watching your sons be who they are."
Dustin occasionally travels to New Zealand to see his dad and last year paid him an emotional tribute after Richmond thrashed the GWS Giants in the grand final.
"I just wanna say g'day to Dad in New Zealand," he said during a post-match interview on the MCG. "I love you, mate."