AFL star opens up on father's deportation to New Zealand

By Adam Santarossa of news.com.au

Dustin Martin of the Richmond Tigers. Photo / Getty
Dustin Martin of the Richmond Tigers. Photo / Getty

Richmond Tigers star Dustin Martin has slammed the Australian government for the continued exile of his father Shane.

Shane Martin was deported to New Zealand in March 2016 after immigration officials ruled he was not of good character, removing him from the country under section 501 of the Australian Migration Act - for associating with criminal enterprise.

The former Rebels motorcycle club president is unable to return to Australia after he had his visa cancelled. But Martin says he is not the criminal that the Australian officials suggest.

Martin remains ostracised from his family and forced to run his Sydney based logistics company over the phone from New Zealand, and isn't able to see his football star son Dustin in action.

The Richmond superstar continues to support his exiled father, and told Channel Nine's A Current Affair his father has done nothing wrong and has been considered guilty through his previous association with the motorcycle club.

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

"I wake up every day waiting for a phone call from Dad saying he is coming back."

Martin was sent back to New Zealand following a government crackdown on foreigners who fail the Australian Government's character test.

The New Zealand native had significant criminal history before arriving in Australia - a record stretching back to 1990. Martin has been previously charged with unlawful assault, burglary, armed with intent and drug offences.


In 2004 he received a two-month suspended sentence aiding and abetting in the trafficking of ecstasy and fined for possessing a drug of dependence (cannabis and ecstasy).

He was removed from Australia last March after intervention from Australian Border Force officials, but Martin senior says he has renounced any links to the outlaw motorcycle club and put his criminal past behind him.

"He's not what he might look like," son Dustin says.

"I'd cop it if he was a criminal, but it (deportation) is for association.

"If he'd done something, fair enough, then you'd cop your whack, but to be just taken away I think it's pretty stupid. It's broken up the family."

"You see all the other parents in the room after the game and I don't even have my dad there."

But Immigration Minister Peter Dutton is adamant people like Shane Martin don't belong in Australia.

The Minster is intent on keeping Mr Martin locked out of Australia, despite his claims he is reformed and no longer holds links to the outlaw motorcycle gang.

"Many of these criminals picked claim that we're targeting people's criminal histories," Dutton says.

"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.

"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 in New South Wales."

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