Ludlam out over citizenship error
THE political career of Greens senator Scott Ludlam is over after the revelation he was improperly elected more than a decade ago.
The party’s co- deputy leader recently discovered he holds dual citizenship with New Zealand. Under section 44 of the constitution, that makes him ineligible to hold office.
Senator Ludlam labelled it a “ridiculous oversight”. “I apologise unreservedly for this mistake,” he said yesterday.
“This was my error, something I should have checked when I first nominated for preselection in 2006.”
Instead of going through protracted legal proceedings, he resigned as a senator for Western Australia and codeputy leader of the Greens.
Senator Ludlam was born in Palmerston North in New Zealand and left the country with his family when he was three.
He settled in Australia not long before his ninth birthday, before being naturalised when he was in his mid- teens.
“( I) assumed that was the end of my New Zealand citizenship,” he said. “It is entirely my responsibility – it wasn’t the way I was hoping to go out.”
University student Jordon Steele- John has been touted the frontrunner to take the vacant Senate seat.
Mr Steele- John, who has cerebral palsy, had to give up his British citizenship to run for parliament in 2013.