Immigration minister Peter Dutton
Immigration minister Peter Dutton Patrick Woods

Dutton, Hanson make AFR most powerful list

PETER Dutton has rocketed onto a list of the nation's most powerful people, along with Nicole Kidman, Rebel Wilson and the AFL Women's league.

The Immigration and Border Protection Minister, widely tipped as the frontrunner to be the next Liberal leader and a future Prime Minister, has been named at number six on a list of the most powerful people in Australia.

Mr Dutton didn't make the top 15 in last year's list by the Australian Financial Review but the Queensland MP's star is rising.

"More than any other minister in Turnbull's government, Dutton's power and profile have increased in the past year," the publication says.

"He is the leading conservative in the government and is now seen as a potential replacement for Turnbull, ahead of Tony Abbott.

"He plays a key role as the 'hard man' on border protection and immigration.

"His authority will increase with the creation of a super-security Home Affairs department."

Dutton has overseen the Australia-US refugee swap deal this year and been named the first minister of the soon-to-be established Home Affairs department.

Actors Nicole Kidman and Rebel Wilson also made the list of Aussies with the most cultural power.

"(Nicole) turned 50 and has turned herself into a mini cultural powerhouse, using her connections and influence to find, fund and film new roles for women," the publication says.

"Along with Reese Witherspoon she was the executive producer of, and won the lead actor Emmy award for, the hit HBO series Big Little Lies, based on the best-selling book by Australian author Liane Moriarty."

Meanwhile, Wilson was listed for taking on Bauer Media's Woman's Day after it ran articles accusing her of being a serial liar.

"Wilson put on the boxing gloves and fought - all the way until the Victorian Supreme Court awarded her $4.5 million for defamation in September," the publication says.

The AFL's Women's league was named the second body with the most cultural power in Australia.

"Sheilas kicking Sherrins is a game-changer, creating a whole new type of champion and making players such as Erin Phillips household names," the publication says.

"More than 24,000 turned up to see Carlton smash Collingwood in the first game of AFL Women's.

"Once the season was over, almost 200,000 people had attended a match and the TV audience was 5.6 million."

Free-to-air TV moguls Carl and Mark Fennessy, chief executives of Endemol Shine Australia, topped the cultural power list for reshaping the way Australian television looks.

"This year the Fennessys will have 15 shows broadcast across Seven, Nine, Ten and SBS, straddling genres from comedy and drama (Offspring, Blue Murder, Wake in Fright) through to observational (Gogglebox) and reality (Survivor, Married at First Sight)," the publication says.

Sydney shock-jock Ray Hadley, representing the "populist right-wing media", also made the covert power list at number eight, for being the "loudest noise in national affairs".

Hadley has a "big influence on key issues by airing hardline views which then filter down to influence policy, such as energy," the publication says.

One Nation leader Pauline Hanson made the overt power list, along with the other powerbrokers of the senate crossbench.

"The crossbench is the gate through which every aspect of government policy requiring legislation must pass," the publication says.

"The gatekeepers are using their power to great effect."

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten and Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce topped the list of the Australians with the most overt power.

News Corp Australia

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