Cana­van says le­gal ad­vice clears him

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS -

EM­BAT­TLED Se­na­tor Matt Cana­van re­vealed he con­sid­ered re­sign­ing but says le­gal ad­vice puts his el­i­gi­bil­ity in the clear, while a se­nior Min­is­ter called for “com­mon sense” changes to the Con­sti­tu­tion to be con­sid­ered fol­low­ing the dual cit­i­zen­ship cri­sis.

But the Greens and One Na­tion have re­newed calls for an of­fi­cial in­quiry into the el­i­gi­bil­ity of all Mem­bers of Par­lia­ment.

Two Greens se­na­tors have re­signed from the Se­nate, while Se­na­tor Cana­van stepped down from Cabi­net, af­ter it was re­vealed this month they held dual cit­i­zen­ship, which makes them in­el­i­gi­ble to stand for Par­lia­ment.

Se­na­tor Cana­van is chal­leng­ing the va­lid­ity of his Ital­ian cit­i­zen­ship be­cause he was signed up by his mother as an adult with­out his knowl­edge.

He stood by his mum yes­ter­day. “My mum acted in what she thought was my best in­ter­ests and had no idea about the con­sti­tu­tional ram­i­fi­ca­tions of any of this un­til the matters in­volv­ing the two Greens se­na­tors were in the me­dia,” he said.

He said he had le­gal ad­vice that he was not in breach of the Con­sti­tu­tion, but it would be up to the High Court to de­cide.

Mean­while, Im­mi­gra­tion Min­is­ter Peter Dut­ton talked up the pos­si­bil­ity of a ref­er­en­dum to change the Con­sti­tu­tion on dual cit­i­zen­ship.

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