McGowan calls for MPs’cit­i­zen­ship sta­tus on reg­is­ter

Myrtleford Times - - News -

CATHY McGowan (MHR, Indi) wants fed­eral par­lia­men­tar­i­ans to con­firm cit­i­zen­ship sta­tus on the Com­mon­wealth mem­bers’ in­ter­ests reg­is­ter.

Ms McGowan said any fed­eral can­di­date as a mat­ter of course should con­firm be­fore nom­i­nat­ing for elec­tion that their cit­i­zen­ship con­forms to sec­tion 44 of the Aus­tralian con­sti­tu­tion.

The con­sti­tu­tion says a per­son is in­ca­pable of be­ing cho­sen or sit­ting as a par­lia­men­tar­ian if they are “un­der any ac­knowl­edge­ment of al­le­giance, obe­di­ence, or ad­her­ence to a for­eign power, or is a sub­ject or a cit­i­zen or en­ti­tled to the rights or priv­i­leges of a sub­ject or cit­i­zen of a for­eign power”.

The court, sit­ting as the Court of Dis­puted Re­turns, is to con­sider the mat­ters in the weeks ahead.

Ms McGowan said there was cur­rently no process for elected par­lia­men­tar­i­ans pub­licly to dis­close ev­i­dence of their cit­i­zen­ship sta­tus.

“The ongoing uncertainty about the cit­i­zen­ship sta­tus of (mem­bers) is un­der­min­ing the busi­ness of the par­lia­ment,” Ms McGowan said.

“My mo­tion will amend the res­o­lu­tion re­lat­ing to the reg­is­tra­tion of mem­bers’ In­ter­ests so that the cit­i­zen­ship sta­tus of the mem­ber, the mem­ber’s par­ents and grand­par­ents, and ev­i­dence of rea­son­able steps taken to re­nounce for­eign na­tion­al­ity by the mem­ber is recorded.”

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