The father of AFL and Richmond superstar Dustin Martin is expected to be allowed back into Australia after Immigration Minister Peter Dutton conceded a legal error was made in the decision to deport him.
The case of Shane Martin, who was deported to New Zealand last year because of his links to the Rebels motorcycle club, was mentioned in the Federal Court in Sydney on Tuesday.
Justice John Griffiths was told the minister had agreed the decision should be quashed.
"You are not going to do much better than that," he quipped to Mr Martin's barrister James Forsaith when he stood up to make a submission.
Mr Forsaith said there still was one issue related to the class of visa held by Mr Martin and he wished to discuss the legal consequences with senior counsel.
The judge adjourned the case to December 19.
The deportation of Mr Martin, who had lived in Australia since he was 20, meant he missed his son's AFL grand final win this year when the Tigers claimed their first flag since 1980.
In October, Mr Dutton said he based the decision to deport Mr Martin on information that is not publicly available.
"I have information that is provided by the intelligence agencies and by law I am prohibited from giving you the detail," the minister said.
"I've made a decision which I am not going to change. I made a decision based on all the facts and I believe it is the right decision."
Dustin Martin's manager, Ralph Carr, declined to comment when contacted by The Age on Tuesday.
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In an interview with The Footy Show in August, Dustin said his father was his biggest supporter and that leaving him in New Zealand after visiting him there was one of the hardest moments of his life.
"It's been incredibly hard the last 12 to 18 months not having him here," Dustin said. "He'd love to be here and hopefully he is back here soon.
"It's been a pretty emotional week ... seeing him [in New Zealand] he was pretty broken."
In that same interview, a visibly emotional Shane Martin, a member of the Rebels motorcycle gang, who left Australia voluntarily in March 2016 after Mr Dutton revoked his residency status, spoke of his pride in his son and his fight to be allowed to return to Australia.
"Love you son and I'm very proud," Mr Martin said from his home in New Zealand.
More to come
– AAP, Fairfax Media