Cit­i­zen­ship: Hinch next

The West Australian - - NEWS -

Der­ryn Hinch faces a High Court fight to save his po­lit­i­cal ca­reer af­ter the self-styled “hu­man head­line” ad­mit­ted links to the US that could dis­qual­ify him from the Se­nate.

Sen­a­tor Hinch last night ac­knowl­edged he had be­come the lat­est mem­ber of Fed­eral Par­lia­ment caught up in the cit­i­zen­ship scan­dal.

The Vic­to­rian sen­a­tor has re­nounced New Zealand cit­i­zen­ship but he still holds a so­cial se­cu­rity card from when he lived in New York.

“I plan to raise the is­sue with the So­lic­i­tor-Gen­eral and, if nec­es­sary, will re­fer my­self to the High Court, act­ing as the Court of Dis­puted Re­turns,” he said.

Sec­tion 44(i) of the Con­sti­tu­tion dis­qual­i­fies those “en­ti­tled to the rights or priv­i­leges of a sub­ject or a cit­i­zen of a for­eign power” from be­ing a mem­ber of Par­lia­ment.

Lead­ing con­sti­tu­tional law ex­pert Pro­fes­sor Anne Twomey said any MP hold­ing a US so­cial se­cu­rity card might be in breach of that sec­tion.

Sen­a­tor Hinch said his view was that he had not ac­cepted the “rights and priv­i­leges of a for­eign power”.

“I did write to the US So­cial Se­cu­rity De­part­ment in­struct­ing them not to pay that pen­sion be­cause I was now a sen­a­tor,” he said.

Keith Moor

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