Par­lia­ment cit­i­zen­ship cri­sis has me shocked

Geraldton Guardian - - Opinion - Mrs Olly Wren­sted Ger­ald­ton

Lordy be, I am to­tally con­fused.

Not se­nior ci­ti­zen con­fu­sion, but due to the machi­na­tion of po­lit­i­cal rea­son­ing. Why?

To be­gin with, over many months we have been sub­jected to all the hoo-ha and lu­di­crous non­sense of who is and who is not el­i­gi­ble to hold down the po­si­tion of sen­a­tor in the Aus­tralian Par­lia­ment, with quite a num­ber of politi­cians hav­ing to re­sign

As ev­ery­one is aware, some peo­ple who had been born in an­other coun­try had dual cit­i­zen­ship but were un­aware they were not el­i­gi­ble, so had to re­sign.

There were oth­ers, also born over­seas who, be­ing aware of the sit­u­a­tion, had re­nounced their coun­try of birth to be el­i­gi­ble.

Then, of course, we had the good old Aus­tralian-born per­son, who one thought quite nat­u­rally enough that as he/she were born here, would au­to­mat­i­cally pass muster to en­ter Par­lia­ment.

But the plot thick­ens, for if that per­son was born here in Aus­tralia and it so hap­pened their fa­ther was born else­where — well good­ness me, shame on them, they were not el­i­gi­ble, there­fore had to re­sign from Par­lia­ment.

So it was that the news on TV on Fri­day Fe­bru­ary 2 — I found to be quite in­ter­est­ing, when we were shown the lat­est en­try — Kenyan-born Lucy Gichuhi — be­ing wel­comed by Mal­colm Turn­bull into the Lib­eral Gov­ern­ment fold.

There was more in­for­ma­tion in a story pub­lished in The Week­end West, where it tells of Sen­a­tor Gichuhi be­ing Aus­tralia’s first black African-born Sen­a­tor, who came to Aus­tralia with her hus­band and three chil­dren in 1999. In her maiden speech, Sen­a­tor Gichuhi spoke about her shock at re­ceiv­ing wel­fare pay­ments.

Now, I don’t in­tend to take any credit what­so­ever away from Sen­a­tor Gichuhi — her per­se­ver­ance, self­less sac­ri­fice for fam­ily or her achieve­ments — who, I be­lieve, re­fuses to speak about dual cit­i­zen­ship.

How­ever, I can­not help but speak about how peo­ple born over­seas in the coun­try in which their fa­thers were born, ar­rive here — and there are a num­ber of sen­a­tors here who hold that rank — by tak­ing out Aus­tralian cit­i­zen­ship can en­ter into Aus­tralian pol­i­tics that gov­ern this coun­try, when an Aus­tralian-born per­son whose fa­ther was born over­seas can­not.

Does an Aus­tralian-born per­son have to take out Aus­tralian cit­i­zen­ship?

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