Senator’s ousting ‘not political’
A BARRISTER with a strong interest in the Constitution was the mystery whistleblower who ended the parliamentary career of Greens deputy coleader Scott Ludlam.
Mr Ludlam earned more than $1.6 million while illegitimately sitting in the Senate for nine years.
John Cameron’s discovery that Mr Ludlam had not renounced his New Zealand citizenship could mean the former senator has to repay his salary, as well as that of his staff.
Mr Cameron, a former Aboriginal Legal Service lawyer and social justice advocate, said he was not politically motivated when he applied three weeks ago to the New Zealand Department of Internal Affairs to search its register of citizens.
“I think the Australian Constitution is important,” he said.
“It is the basic law of our country.”
Mr Cameron wanted to know whether Mr Ludlam or Victorian senator Derryn Hinch had retained their citizenship, which would have made them ineligible to be Australian senators under Section 44 of the Constitution.
He learned that while Senator Hinch renounced his New Zealand citizenship before the last election, Mr Ludlam had remained a citizen after leaving the country at age three.