Cit­i­zen­ship breaches a big dis­grace

The West Australian - - LETTERS -

While I agree with Andrew Bolt’s com­ments (Bill Shorten’s brazen hypocrisy, Opin­ion, 13/11), I think there are some fun­da­men­tal points that have been missed in the de­bate.

The first is that, as far as the le­gal re­quire­ments for the job of an MP are con­cerned, those with dual cit­i­zen­ship are work­ing il­le­gally.

As an em­ployer, my business has a le­gal obli­ga­tion to en­sure all em­ploy­ees have the right to work in Aus­tralia.

We hope peo­ple are hon­est be­fore start­ing work with us, but we nonethe­less have a thor­ough process in place that re­quires ev­i­dence, in­clud­ing a copy of each per­son’s pass­port ID page, along with a visa where nec­es­sary.

Ad­di­tion­ally, as a ser­vice provider to third par­ties, we are rig­or­ous in these and re­lated mat­ters, such as copies of cer­ti­fi­ca­tions, drug and al­co­hol test­ing, po­lice clear­ances, and so on.

If em­ploy­ers like us don’t com­ply, the Aus­tralian Gov­ern­ment pe­nalises us heav­ily.

MPs are paid by the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment, not by a po­lit­i­cal party. So why doesn’t the gov­ern­ment as em­ployer have an ap­pro­pri­ate hu­man re­sources process in place that in­cludes an Aus­tralian cit­i­zen­ship au­dit?

Bill Shorten, or who­ever, should have no say as to who has or who has not the right to sit in Par­lia­ment. There should be a rig­or­ous process be­fore we “em­ploy” an MP.

If some­how an MP gains their high pay­ing job im­prop­erly — which a num­ber have have done, whether know­ingly or through neg­li­gence — then that MP should be dis­missed and pros­e­cuted.

Clearly, the hu­man re­sources arm of the Fed­eral pub­lic ser­vice has not had sound pro­cesses in place. It’s a dis­grace and there should be no more ex­cuses in fix­ing the sit­u­a­tion up.

Ev­ery MP should be com­pelled to sub­mit to a rig­or­ous process of ver­i­fi­ca­tion, one that re­quires solid ev­i­dence they meet the manda­tory cit­i­zen­ship re­quire­ment for the job tax­pay­ers are pay­ing them for. Peter Court, Su­bi­aco

Tassie cit­i­zen­ship

I would have thought it was ob­vi­ous that Jac­qui Lam­bie holds dual cit­i­zen­ship. Surely Tas­ma­nia isn’t con­sid­ered part of Aus­tralia.

Paul Haz­zard, Bayswa­ter

Section 44(c) a wise rule

It is claimed by some that the con­sti­tu­tional pro­vi­sion that bans dual cit­i­zen­ship of Fed­eral par­lia­men­tar­i­ans is ab­surd and un­fair.

No one could se­ri­ously doubt that Barn­aby Joyce, John Alexan­der, Scott Lud­lam, and oth­ers like them are loyal Aus­tralian cit­i­zens.

How­ever, wise rules are framed, not just to cover com­mon­place and self-ev­i­dent sit­u­a­tions, but to en­sure that the un­ex­pected does not cause prob­lems.

When de­cid­ing on mat­ters such as for­eign af­fairs, international trade treaties, im­mi­gra­tion, de­fence and se­cu­rity, no par­lia­men­tar­ian should ever be in a sit­u­a­tion where they could be ac­cused, even if falsely, of hav­ing di­vided loy­al­ties.

The present sit­u­a­tion may seem un­duly re­stric­tive, but the wis­dom of Section 44(c) needs to be recog­nised.

Don Robert­son, Daglish

Cit­i­zen­ship a dis­trac­tion

It’s time this fi­asco and farce about dual cit­i­zen­ship was put to bed and we got on with much more im­por­tant things.

A huge per­cent­age of Aus­tralians couldn’t care less if some­one’s par­ents were from Eng­land, New Zealand or Tim­buktu.

All of the politi­cians be­ing per­se­cuted were ei­ther born in Aus­tralia or have lived most of their lives here. Per­haps some of them have served in our armed forces, or rep­re­sented us in sport, or in other com­mend­able ar­eas.

They have put their hand up and been prop­erly elected. Their only agenda is to help make Aus­tralia a bet­ter place in which to live.

A much more im­por­tant is­sue is to get rid of ter­ror­ists and their sym­pa­this­ers in this coun­try. Their only agenda is to de­stroy us.

Don McKen­zie, Strat­ton

Con­sti­tu­tional fall-out

The fall-out from the spate of politi­cians deemed to be in­el­i­gi­ble to sit in Par­lia­ment has spawned calls for Section 44 of the Con­sti­tu­tion to be changed. That is a silly knee-jerk re­sponse.

The Com­mon­wealth Elec­toral Com­mis­sion just needs to do its job prop­erly.

The com­mis­sion has the re­spon­si­bil­ity to en­sure that all per­sons ap­ply­ing to stand for Par­lia­ment es­tab­lish and at­test that they sat­isfy the re­quire­ments of Section 44. Nathan Hoff­man, Dianella

Bolt’s col­umn on Mon­day.

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