Like many areas in a rapidly changing Australia, the seat of Dickson in the north of Brisbane straddles many divides.

It is also a fulcrum seat which holds a key to the future of the country.

It is the electorate of Peter Dutton, the man who by running against then Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in August of 2018 established himself as the prime contender to lead the Liberal Party into an uncertain future.

A highly intelligent man, Dutton has become one of the most reviled and polarising figures in Australia today for his strong stances on border control and against excessive immigration rates.

Dutton himself is a force of nature, capable of standing up to the hurtful, deeply personal and in many ways misguided hate campaigns of the groupthink left.

In person Dutton is a little like your ultra-straight, ultra-conservative uncle.

It is bizarre to think he has never so much as had a cup of coffee. A party animal he is not. But equally, he is just the sort of person you would turn to in a crisis.

At moments like this, when history is on the turn, the truth will out.



That, essentially, is what it is all about.

Dutton first joined the Liberal Party in 1988. He was 19-years-old when he first ran unsuccessfully for political office in the Queensland state elections.

In 1990 he graduated from the Queensland Police Academy and spent much of his nine years in the Service in the drug squad.

It’s not that hard to find likely lads in his electorate who remember being busted by him.

Dutton seized the Electorate of Dickson in 2001 and has held it ever since. He was rapidly promoted to the Ministry.

There is a strange sense about it all, not that Dutton is the man who would be king, but that destiny has placed him there.

That at a perilous time in the nation’s history a “firm hand at the tiller” as even some of his detractors describe him, is all that will save the country from the hard times many in the country fear is about to destroy them.

Dutton is surrounded by enemies within and without.

Whether he survives the coming election and seizes his destiny lies in the hands of the gods.

And the people of his electorate.

All he can do is hope they are kind.

The electorate is either switched off or pissed off. They love him, hate him or have no idea who he is.

Dutton’s fate, and thereby ultimately the fate of the entire country, lies in their hands.

These are the voices of Dickson.

Quote: “I want someone to lead.”

Written and compiled by John Stapleton, editor of A Sense of Place Magazine. A collection of his journalism can be found here.