McGowan agrees with citizenship declaration idea
Life lessons often walk a two-way street. This young cattle handler and his charge – a young Friesian heifer – regarded one another during the junior handler competition at Myrtleford Show on October 28. What transpired between them is unrecorded except in this image – was it a gentle word of encouragement or one of caution as the pair approached judge, Noel Furze? Or was beast reminding her partner that life has other attractions and judging does not count among them?
CATHY McGowa n (MHR, Indi) has welcomed an announcement by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull that all parliamentarians will be required at election to make a declaration clarifying their Australian citizenship.
Ms McGowan said Mr Turnbull had taken “an important step towards restoring trust in the system” in the wake of the High Court’s decision to uphold the Constitution and invalidate the election of parliamentarians who held dual citizenship.
“As an independent representative, I have called consistently in the last two terms of parliament for good governance and transparent processes,” Ms McGowan said.
She recounted that in August she moved a resolution for parliamentarians’ citizenship credentials to be included in the auditable register of members’ interests similar to that which the Prime Minister was now proposing:
She asked the parliament to note the ongoing uncer- tainty about the citizenship status of members.
She said parliamentary candidates were responsible for confirming their citizenship status prior to nominating for election by signing the declaration on the nomination form that they are qualified under the Constitution and the laws of the Commonwealth to be elected.
But there was currently no process or requirement for members publicly to release evidence of their citizenship status.
Ms McGowan said the requirements of register of members’ interests should be changed to record the citizenship status of a member, their parents and grandparents, and evidence of reasonable steps taken to renounce foreign nationality by a member.
AGREEMENT: Cathy McGowan (MHR) agrees with the Prime Minister’s idea of a citizenship declaration by MPs.