Peter Dutton wants businesses to stop talking about social issues

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has spoken out against businesses getting involved in social causes saying they should focus on their role.

The senior Turnbull government who previously told business leaders to “stick to their knitting” rather than getting involved in the marriage equality debate, delivered his criticism while delivering a speech at a conference of the Samuel Griffith Society in Brisbane.

The Australian has reported that Dutton rallied against ‘political correctness’ telling business leaders that they should speak out abut business, the economy and industrial relations but stay clear of social issues. The Home Affairs Minister said large companies should not adopt the agenda’s of ‘radical activists’.

“They are participating in ­social and political debates that have absolutely nothing to do with their stated purpose,” Dutton told the conference.

“These companies are using company funds and brand equity to pursue pet political and social causes. Some businesses are now acting in the interests of special-interest activist groups.

“The interests of shareholders are becoming secondary con­siderations, if they are being ­considered at all.” Dutton said.

The minister reportedly took QANTAS CEO Alan Joyce to task for having the company he heads publicly support marriage equality.  Dutton said it was acceptable for Joyce to share his personal opinion on the issue but the company should never have put their support behind the ‘Yes’ campaign.

“Regardless of your view on that topic, this was a multi-­million-dollar publicly listed company throwing its weight behind one side of a debate it had no business getting into,” Dutton said.

The Home Affairs minister said he expected pressure would be placed on companies to speak out against and range of issues, including Australia’s border protection policies, but business leaders should resist responding to “left wing ideological fetishes”.

The Samuel Griffiths Society is named after the first Chief Justice of Australia’s High Court. Prior to becoming the Chief Justice he was the Chief Justice of Queensland, and served as the state’s ninth Premier.

OIP Staff