‘Character’ Grounds: Donald Trump Jr.’s Australia Tour Postponed After Visa Delay

‘Character’ Grounds: Donald Trump Jr.’s Australia Tour Postponed After Visa Delay
Donald Trump Jr., son of President Donald Trump, speaks during a Republican National Committee Victory Rally at Dalton Regional Airport in Dalton, Ga., on Jan. 4, 2021. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Donald Trump Jr. has been granted a last-minute visa by Australian authorities after a long delay forced organisers to postpone his speaking tour.

The son of the former U.S. president was supposed to speak from July 9 to 11 and make appearances in Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane.

However, on July 5, organisers announced that due to “unforeseen circumstances,” the Donald Trump Jr. Live tour was postponed.

“Ticket holders are urged to hold onto their tickets, with details of the rescheduled date to be confirmed in the coming days,” organising group Turning Point Australia wrote on its website.

The event promised to promote the principles of “freedom, free markets, and limited government.”

Donald Trump Jr
Donald Trump, Jr., son of Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump, speaks during the second-day session of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Tuesday, July 19, 2016. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

It was later revealed that Trump Jr. had yet to receive a visa approval from Australian authorities despite submitting an application in May—normally, visas require 21 days to process.

Just hours after the tour postponement was announced, however, The Epoch Times was informed that his visa had finally been granted.

Andrew Cooper, the main organiser for the Conservative Political Action Conference—Australia, said he experienced similar delays when trying to get Brexit campaigner Nigel Farage down under.

He said Farage was not even sure he could enter the country until he was boarding his flight.

“[The government] holds it back, and they delay it. So they will claim they didn’t dis-approve it, but that they processed it late,” Mr. Cooper told The Epoch Times.

“We have speakers getting delayed all the time.”

Nigel Farage at the CPAC Australia conference in Sydney on Aug. 10, 2019. (The Epoch Times)

A volunteer for the Australian speaking tour said there was good demand with tickets selling well, with an estimated $2 million (US$1.3 million) already sold.

Tickets, according to Turning Point Australia’s website, are priced at $89.00 for adults and $59 for students, VIP tickets are $295, and backstage passes are $495.

“Incredibly disappointing. The government looks like it deliberately derailed the event,” the volunteer told The Epoch Times on the condition of anonymity.

In response, the Home Affairs Department said it would not comment on individual cases, but issued the following statement:

“The Australian government will continue to act decisively to protect the community from the risk of harm posed by individuals who choose to engage in criminal activity or behaviour of concern, including visa cancellation or refusal where appropriate,” said a spokesperson for the Department.

“All non-citizens who wish to enter or remain in Australia must satisfy the requirements of the Migration Act 1958 (the Act) and Migration Regulations 1994, including identity, health, security, and character requirements.”

According to the Home Affairs website, a person may not meet character requirements if they have engaged in criminal behaviour, or if authorities believe they could potentially “vilify a segment of the Australian community,” “incite discord” or “pose a danger” to the community.

Not Australia’s First Visa Controversy

The visa debacle is not unusual for the Australian government, which has form when it comes to delaying visas over politically sensitive issues.

The most notable example was the cancellation of tennis star Novak Djokovic’s visa over his vaccination status in early 2022. Mr. Djokovic attempted to appeal the decision but failed to overturn the decision.

Novak Djokovic
Serbia’s Novak Djokovic during a press conference ahead of the Australian Open tennis tournament, in Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, on Jan. 14, 2023. (Loren Elliott/Reuters)

Then-Immigration Minister Alex Hawke cancelled the visa because Djokovic was considered an “icon,” and his presence could excite anti-vaccination sentiment, derail Australia’s vaccination efforts, and affect the health system.

“Australians have made great sacrifices to get to this point, and the Morrison government is firmly committed to protecting this position, as the Australian people expect,” Hawke said.

Chief Justice James Allsop hearing the case at the time, said it was the government prerogative that took precedence.

“These grounds focused on whether the decision was, for different reasons, irrational or legally unreasonable,” he said.

“It is no part of the function of the court to decide upon the merits or wisdom of the [government’s] decision.”

NTD Photo
Thousands of Australians protesting COVID-19 vaccine mandates and COVID-19 lockdowns walk down Swanston Street in the Melbourne CBD, Australia, on Sept. 22, 2021. (Darrian Traynor/Getty Images)

While Mr. Djokovic said he was “extremely disappointed” with the decision.

“I will now be taking some time to rest and to recuperate before making any further comments beyond this,” he said in a statement.

From The Epoch Times

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