Poll call beck­ons

The Weekend Post - - News - PAUL OSBORNE

Malcolm Turn­bull (above) has re­ceived Greens sup­port to re­fer to the High Court all MPs with “le­git­i­mate ques­tion marks” over their cit­i­zen­ship.

AUS­TRALIANS in half-adozen fed­eral seats could be forced back to the polls as Malcolm Turn­bull re­ceived Greens sup­port to re­fer to the High Court all MPs with “le­git­i­mate ques­tion marks” over their cit­i­zen­ship.

But the Greens will still push ahead with a mo­tion in the Se­nate on Mon­day to set up an in­de­pen­dent au­dit of all 226 MPs to end the cit­i­zen­ship cri­sis and re­store sta­bil­ity.

The Prime Min­is­ter has pro­posed that all MPs lodge de­tails, on a pub­lic reg­is­ter, of their fam­ily his­tory and re­nun­ci­a­tion of for­eign cit­i­zen­ship by De­cem­ber 7.

He is await­ing agree­ment from Op­po­si­tion Leader Bill Shorten, who wants a De­cem­ber 1 deadline and the re­lease of a “High Court stan­dard” level of de­tail from MPs.

How­ever, La­bor is con­cerned the govern­ment will use its one-seat ma­jor­ity in the Lower House to tar­get po­ten­tially in-doubt op­po­si­tion MPs.

Mr Turn­bull said he would present his res­o­lu­tion to the Se­nate and Lower House whether or not La­bor sup­ported it and con­sider re­fer­ring La­bor MPs to the court.

“We re­ferred our own peo­ple to the High Court when we had ad­vice that they weren’t in breach,” he said on the side­lines of the APEC sum­mit in Viet­nam. “When you’ve got (La­bor) peo­ple that were, on their own ad­mis­sion, UK cit­i­zens at the time they nom­i­nated ... it re­ally is a bit rich of Mr Shorten to say to me that the govern­ment shouldn’t vote to re­fer them.”

The stand-off con­tin­ued as the High Court put a hold on the con­fir­ma­tion of Lib­eral can­di­date Hol­lie Hughes to re­place dis­qual­i­fied Na­tion­als deputy leader Fiona Nash.

The court will con­sider next Wed­nes­day whether Ms Hughes’ job with the Ad­min­is­tra­tive Ap­peals Tri­bunal, which she later quit, dis­qual­i­fies her.

The court has cleared the way for three new sen­a­tors to re­place Malcolm Roberts, Larissa Waters and Scott Lud­lam.

One MP, who may not wait for the dis­clo­sure process, is Lib­eral John Alexan­der, who is weigh­ing up whether to quit over his dual cit­i­zen­ship and trig­ger a by-elec­tion in the Syd­ney seat of Ben­ne­long as early as De­cem­ber 16.

That would pres­sure La­bor to deal with doubts over as many as four MPs – Jus­tine Keay, Madeleine King, Su­san Lamb and Josh Wil­son – and for cross­bencher Re­bekha Starkie to con­sider her sta­tus.

LO­CAL CUI­SINE: Malcolm Turn­bull spends the morn­ing in the Viet­nam town of Da Nang, eat­ing a “break­fast of cham­pi­ons” along­side Aus­tralian-Viet­namese celebrity chef Luke Nguyen. The Prime Min­is­ter, who is in Viet­nam for the APEC sum­mit, faces a po­lit­i­cal bat­tle back in Aus­tralia over the dual-cit­i­zen­ship cri­sis, which pro­gressed yes­ter­day af­ter he re­ceived Greens sup­port to re­fer to the High Court all MPs with “le­git­i­mate ques­tion marks” over their cit­i­zen­ship.

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