Peter Dutton has been slammed as a “hypocrite” by a 33-year old who threw both of his shoes at the visiting Immigration Minister on Sunday.
Mr Dutton, a former Queensland police officer, dodged one shoe and caught another mid-air when he appeared at the Welcomefest at Annerley Football Club at about 10am to greet 51 new Australian citizens.
“It was a silly action, but I managed to catch one out of two,” he said in a statement released after his appearance.
Horticulturist David Sprigg was charged with public nuisance and ejected from the venue. He will appear at the Brisbane Magistrate’s Court later this month.
Mr Sprigg said the shoe-throw was a protest at Australia’s immigration policies.
“It is hypocritical for Peter Dutton to appear at a festival welcoming refugees when his government continues to lock up indefinitely asylum seekers who have committed no crime, and turn back boats at sea who are attempting to seek refuge in Australia,” he said in a statement.
“When they use language like ‘queue jumpers’ and ‘illegal arrivals’, I think they’re really just turning the public against refugees.”
‘Not everyone agrees’
But Mr Dutton accepted Mr Sprigg’s display of democracy.
“We live in a democracy and not everyone agrees with our strong border protection policies,” he said.
Mr Dutton joins other prominent figures who have had shoes thrown at them, including former US president George W Bush, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, former Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, disgraced International Monetary Fund former director Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and many more.
A Wikipedia page which lists shoe-throwing incidents has been updated to include Mr Sprigg’s actions.
In Taiwan, authorities erected a net to catch flying shoes chucked at President Ma Ying-jeou’s motorcade.