Tanya Plibersek responds after photo emerges of Peter Dutton’s son holding a bag with ‘white powder’

Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek has defended Peter Dutton’s son after a leaked photo on social media showed him holding a bag of ‘white powder’.

The image, first reported by the Herald Sun, showed 18-year-old Tom Dutton looking at the camera and holding the clear bag on a balcony in Surfers Paradise.

‘Birthday treat. Hello, how are you,” the caption read.

The photo was first shared on Snapchat before it was screenshotted and leaked on Monday. The photo has now been removed.

Daily Mail Australia does not suggest the white substance was drugs.

The opposition leader’s office has declined to comment on the matter, saying in one sentence that it is a “private matter for the Dutton family.”

Peter Dutton’s 18-year-old son Tom (pictured) made headlines after he was pictured holding a bag of white powder. Image: Supplied/ Newscorp Network News

Ms Plibersek expressed her empathy for the families of public figures after being asked about the issue on Channel Nine’s Today program on Tuesday.

‘I have no comment at all. Peter Dutton is a public figure but his son is not,” she said.

Host Karl Stefanovic continued to press her photo.

“Can you imagine the poor child’s embarrassment?” he said.

“I mean, his father is already the opposition leader… he’s a former police officer… and (Tom) ends up on the front page of the newspaper.

“Children have to suffer under high-profile parents, right?”

Ms Plibersek, a mother of three and previously deputy leader of the opposition, admitted it was not an “easy life” for the children of politicians.

“There’s nothing more embarrassing than being out with your mother and being stopped at the shops for people who want to have a chat,” she said.

‘It’s not an easy life. We enter public life and we choose it. Our families don’t choose it, that’s for sure.’

Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek rephrased his comments on the issue, saying:

Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek restated his comments on the issue, saying: “Peter Dutton is a public figure, but his son is not.” Photo: NewsWire/Martin Ollman

National Victorian Senator Bridget McKenzie also appeared and said she had not spoken to Mr Dutton since the story broke on Monday evening.

She reiterated that it was “a problem for the Dutton family.”

Social Services Minister Amanda Rishwoth also refrained from commenting, saying: “I think families are conscripts to politics.”

Snapchat is popular among young people because messages usually disappear after they are read. Recipients can take screenshots of messages, but the person who shared them will be notified.

Mr Dutton has two sons – Tom and Harry – with his wife Kirilly, as well as daughter Rebecca from a previous relationship.

He told ABC’s Kitchen Cabinet last year how his parenting style as a police officer was affected before he entered politics, admitting he was stricter than most.

“Even in the way you raise your children… You know, not losing sight of them, because you’ve seen some horrific cases where children have been kidnapped or attacked,” he told Annabel Crabb during an interview at his parents’ home . At home.

He added that he would not let his children use public toilets while they were away.

Mr Dutton with his family on election night in 2022. Tom is second from the left in the photo

Mr Dutton with his family on election night in 2022. Tom is second from the left in the photo