CANAVAN QUITS OVER DUAL CITIZENSHIP
NORTHERN Australia and Resources Minister Matt Canavan dramatically resigned from Cabinet last night after discovering his mum had signed him up for Italian citizenship.
The Nationals minister said his Australian- born mother, whose parents were both born in Italy, applied for him to become an Italian citizen in 2006, when he was aged 25.
He is the third parliamentarian to be caught out in the widening citizenship bungle.
Mr Canavan ( pictured) was born on the Gold Coast and grew up in the Brisbane suburb of Logan. He has never visited Italy or an Italian consulate.
The Government is seeking legal and constitutional advice as to whether Mr Canavan is a dual citizen, given the Italian citizenship was obtained without his knowledge or consent.
“Until last week, I had no suspicion that I could possibly be an Italian citizen,” Mr Canavan said.
“While I knew that my mother had become an Italian citizen, I had no knowledge that myself had become an Italian citizen, nor had I requested to become an Italian citizen. “My mother raised with me the possibility that I was in fact an Italian citizen on Tuesday. “I have since then taken steps to check my citizenship status with the Italian authorities and that has confirmed that I was registered as an Italian citizen in January 2007.” Mr Canavan said his mother contacted him with the news that he was an Italian citizen after the citizenship scandal that saw the resignation of two Greens senators, Scott Ludlam and Larissa Waters. Italian authorities had confirmed, Mr Canavan said, that the application was not signed by him and he had received no correspondence about it. “It is not my intention to resign from the Senate,” he said. “However given the uncertainty around this matter, I will stand aside until the matter is finally resolved and resign as the Minster for Resources and Northern Australia.” Nationals Leader Barnaby Joyce will take on Mr Canavan’s ministerial responsibilities while legal advice is sought. Labor senator Sam Dastyari said the situation was reminiscent of Shane Warne blaming his mother for him taking a banned diuretic drug.