Clar­ity needed

NewsMail - - YOUR SAY -

ON THE dual cit­i­zen­ship saga, the Aus­tralian Con­sti­tu­tion came into ef­fect on Jan­uary 1, 1901, with Sec­tion 44 hav­ing five main points of ex­clu­sion, the first be­ing “al­le­giance to a for­eign power”.

In 1948 Aus­tralian na­tion­al­ity was cre­ated through the Cit­i­zen­ship Act and came into ef­fect in 1949.

It is be­lieved that Sec­tion 44 word­ing was changed in 1998 to be­ing “in­tended to dis­qual­ify per­sons with dual cit­i­zen­ship re­gard­less of whether they ac­quire their other cit­i­zen­ship vol­un­tar­ily or in­vol­un­tar­ily”.

In the past this would have meant that most of our par­lia­men­tar­i­ans and at least two prime min­is­ters held their po­si­tions il­le­gally.

I swore my Oath of Al­le­giance with the in­clu­sion of word­ing “re­nounc­ing all other al­le­giance”, will­ingly proudly and with the un­der­stand­ing that from that mo­ment on, I had no more ties to my birth coun­try, only to now find that might not be so even though I have al­ways been a ve­he­ment op­poser of dual cit­i­zen­ship.

In 1986 the Hawke Gov­ern­ment re­moved the re­nun­ci­a­tion re­quire­ment, fol­lowed by the Keat­ing Gov­ern­ment re­plac­ing the Oath of Al­le­giance with a Pledge of Com­mit­ment in 1994, wa­ter­ing down this sacro­sanct doc­u­ment even more.

The way Sec­tion 44 stands and is in­ter­preted at present cou­pled with a wish-washy nat­u­ral­i­sa­tion com­mit­ment to this coun­try has put us in this dis­as­trous sit­u­a­tion.

We need clear black-and-white reg­u­la­tion for a sta­ble fu­ture. Stop this witch-hunt on mostly in­no­cent in­di­vid­u­als and get on with hope­fully choos­ing a gov­ern­ment that will bring that sta­bil­ity. — OLGA GE­ORGE Ber­a­jondo

STOP WITCH-HUNT: We need black-and-white rules for a sta­ble fu­ture, says one reader.

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