McGowan agrees with cit­i­zen­ship dec­la­ra­tion idea

Alpine Observer - - News - LOOK­ING AT YOU:

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.

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