Poll call beckons
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.