Dual Citizenship - Di Natale, Waters, Ludlam

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

The loss of Senators Scott Ludlam and Larissa Waters has been a tragedy not just for the Greens, but for the Australian people.

Their loss makes clear the need to address this issue of dual-citizenship in an open, honest and transparent way.

“Parliament should immediately initiate an audit of every member’s citizenship status, to confirm which of our elected representatives has the right to serve and which do not,” said leader of the Australian Greens Dr Richard Di Natale.

“For people to have faith in the system, people within the system have to act with integrity. The Greens have taken strong action despite the cost because we will always choose doing the right thing by the Australian people over protecting our own skins.”

“Malcolm Turnbull and Bill Shorten must join us in putting the Australian people first, even if it means the loss of a Senator or MP from one of their parties.” he added.

“Tomorrow we will be moving motions in the Senate to refer Senators Waters and Ludlam to the High Court. It will take some time for the High Court to carry out its duties but we are absolutely confident that those seats will remain Green following a recount. 

We have been granted a pair for each Senator, which the Greens will continue to use to keep the Government and opposition honest in the Senate.”

“Many serious questions have also been raised about Senator Malcolm Robert’s eligibility under Section 44, and the the Greens will support a motion that he be referred to the High Court.”

“I have been speaking with my former deputies about what comes next for them. Both of them have already paid a high price but it should not spell the end of their political careers.

“I understand that Scott doesn’t plan on returning to politics in the foreseeable future but Larissa has indicated to me that she has unfinished business that she wants to continue.

“Ultimately, these are matters for the Qld and WA parties but if they support their nominations,  I would welcome both of them back into the Parliament with open arms."

Depending on the findings or the Court of Disputed Returns, the seconds on the ticket in Qld and WA, Andrew Bartlett and Jordon Steele-John respectively, are likely to be elected, followed by preselections ahead of the next election, the timing and process for which is up to those respective parties.

Former Australian Greens Senator Larissa Waters has taken all necessary steps to renounce her Canadian citizenship, which ensures her eligibility to return to Parliament, if preselected again by the members of the Queensland Greens. A preselection timetable is yet to be confirmed.

“After a roller-coaster of a month, I can confirm that I have renounced my Canadian citizenship,” Larissa Waters said.

“I said when I resigned that I felt I was leaving a lot of unfinished business, and after a couple of weeks of personal reflection, I have decided that I will put my hand up to recontest the seat, whenever the membership decide that process should commence,” she said.

“But my first priority is to do everything I can to help the Queensland Greens win our first seat in the QLD state parliament and I certainly don’t want senate preselection matters to distract our membership or our volunteers,” Waters added.

Unlike Larissa Waters, former-Senator Scott Ludlam has said that he would not be seeking to recontest the WA Senate seat in the foreseeable future.

"It's not an option I'm pursuing, but I'm really happy to see Larissa taking steps to return to the Senate. It's a strange feeling to be home in Fremantle while Parliament is reconvening in Canberra but I'll be supporting Richard and the team and I know they will do a terrific job,” Ludlam said.