Just recently we heard about the two Greens senators who were compelled to resign their office in the Senate (Scott Ludlam and Larissa Waters (1) and then there is also the Liberal senator Matt Sanavan, who resigned his Cabinet portfolio and referred his case to the high Court. ~ ~ In fact, we were told by the ‘Sydney Morning Herald’ news source (July 19th, 2017), there are more than 20 (2) other MPs currently serving in the Australian Parliament who were born overseas and have not released their citizenship renunciation documents to the public. Now this might seem like ‘no big deal’, however if our MPs want to take on the job of representing the public, being the people’s conscience and voice, they need to be transparent, and they need to dot every ‘I’ and cross every ’T’, for they have taken up a high calling, a position of great authority. The fact that there is a cloud over so many of our parliamentarians citizenship at this time shows there is a general lack of accountability within the Government ranks to ensure all representatives qualify for the very responsible positions they hold. This is absolutely appalling! How can the people of this nation respect or have confidence in the current parliamentary system?
So far, from all our overseas born MPs only former Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who renounced his British Citizenship in 1993 has publicly released his renunciation documentation. (3)
CONGRATULATIONS Mr Abbott, can you please re think taking up the Prime Ministership once again, it seems you are one of the few that take your position seriously and have accountability.
It is also hard to accept that those who have recently resigned didn’t know that they were not eligible to stand as a candidate for a political party. One of the first things an applicant for Party candidature learns is, that if they hold dual citizenship they must relinquish their inherited citizenship to be eligible. It is clearly written in the Candidates handbook under ‘who is eligible to nominate’. I do understand that Mr Sanavan’s situation is rather unusual and that he seemed to be unaware of the application on his behalf for Italian citizenship. However, over the years there have been other cases where MPs ‘seemingly with the best of intentions,’ have been discovered to have dual citizenship and have had to resign their positions. One wonders: had these people done candidate training? Did the Party they are/were representing do their job in making sure that all their candidates qualify? Or are they plainly ignoring the requirements and taking a chance to deceive their respective parties and the Australian public in running for an Office, hoping they will not be found out if they get in? In any event this is a serious matter. A candidate assures the AEC having given them signed documentation that states they are eligible to be a candidate, and that they meet all the requirements stipulated for nomination under section 44 of the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution. These people need to be held accountable. Citizenship tests should be mandatory in every party’s preselection processes.
An even greater concern is:
The inconstancy between the Commonwealth and the State!
In the State the legislation for the nomination of candidates differs from that of the Commonwealth and as is declared under section 44 of our constitution. State Government parliamentarians are not asked to give up any foreign citizenship they might hold. This Is double standards, right? Last time I checked the States were part of the Commonwealth of Australia subject to Australian federal law and the Constitution. This constitutes a clear inconsistency between the States and the Commonwealth and therefore, according to our Constitution when and if such a situation arises that Commonwealth laws have precedence. Well there we have it …. why then are we accommodating MPs proudly flaunting their dual citizenship? Take Mr Khalil Eideh Vic. State MP, who states he travels to Syria regularly and openly advertises his dual Syrian and Australian citizenship; he has in the past expressed his allegiance to Syria, so can we believe him when he says he is committed to serve this country as a Victorian State MP. Obviously, the American Government did not trust his past to the extent they would not allow him into their country, even on official Australian Government Business.
In 1998 there was the Federal Case of Sue Vs Hill: Heather Hill was elected to the Senate in that year and shortly thereafter it was discovered that she held dual citizenship.(UK and Australian) As soon as this was revealed after the election, she renounced her UK citizenship, yet the High Court held that her election to the Senate was invalid. The reason for that decision is found in Section 44 of the Commonwealth Constitution; so being, that after the enactment of the Australia Act in 1986 the UK was considered a foreign power, and therefore Heather Hill being a citizen of that foreign power, owed allegiance to it. This ruling saw Heather Hill’s resignation from Federal Parliament and put the onus on all candidates to ensure that they hold allegiance to Australia only. If this be the case for federal parliamentarians it should go without saying that it applies to the States also as they belong to the Commonwealth of Australia.
The States: The Victorian Constitution does not specifically prohibit dual citizenship holders from being MPs; however common logic dictates that there would be a conflict of interests if a member of the Victorian Parliament was a citizen of, and was considered to be showing allegiance to another country, particularly if the citizens of such a nation are involved not only in terrorist activities, but also have a name for many inhumane undertakings. So, then let’s look at section 109 of the Commonwealth Constitution which deals with inconsistencies between Federal and State legislation. This section points out that when there are discrepancies between State and Federal legislations the latter will have precedence. Clearly we can see, there is inconsistency between Federal and Victorian legislation. Why then isn’t the Federal Constitution fully given effect? And have we considered the repercussions of such inconsistency? Could it be that in the future, if we do not take steps to rectify this gross anomaly, we will have state parliaments filled with those who pay allegiance to foreign powers? Does the average Australian want their local MP to be a citizen of, and showing allegiance to another country such as Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, Nigeria, North Korea, China and who knows …. ? What do you think Victoria would become if such was to become the reality?
Rise Up Australia Party calls for an investigation into the citizenships of all Federal and State MPs and we call on Victoria and all States to become consistent with the Federal Constitution which prohibits their politicians from holding dual citizenship.
We call on all State to bring in legislation reflecting the above now, without procrastination.
We owe it to our States and our Nation to ensure that those who represent us have allegiance to Australia and Australia ONLY. It’s time to stop the rot, The Australian people are being kept in the dark and treated with contempt while people like simpering Khalil Eideh can just walk into our governments and take authority over us – No questions asked! We petition for the resignation of Mr Khalil Eideh, Vic. State MP immediately.
(3) Liberal senator Eric Abetz has consistently and vigorously denied claims by New Zealand-born senator Derryn Hinch that he held dual German-Australian citizenship for 16 years before renouncing it in 2010.
“He was a senator long before that. So, why isn’t he in the gun?” Mr Hinch said on radio 3AW.
Mr Hinch said on Tuesday he had renounced his New Zealand citizenship before running for the Senate in 2016.
Neither of these men have produced documentation (example left.)to substantiate their claims of renunciation of their inherited citizenship.
Derren Hinch does have a point though!!
(2) Members of the 45th Federal Parliament born overseas:
Belgium – Mathias Hubert Paul Cormann
Canada – Larissa Joy Waters
Egypt – Anne Aly
Germany – Eric Abetz
Greece – Maria Vamvakinou
Iran – Sam Dastyari
India – Malcolm Ieuan Roberts
Italy – Antonio (Tony) Zappia
Kenya – Lucy Muringo Gichuhi
Malaysia – Penny Ying-Yen Wong
New Zealand – Derryn Nigel Hinch, Scott Ludlam
Nigeria – Sussan Penelope Ley
Singapore – Ian Reginald Goodenough, Peter Stuart Whish-Wilson
United Kingdom – Anthony John Abbott, Douglas Niven Cameron, Paul William Fletcher, Alexander McEachian Gallacher, Nicholas (Nick) James McKim, Brian Keith Mitchell, Brendan Patrick O’Connor, Nigel Gregory Scullion, Joshua (Josh) Hamilton Wilson, Rebekha Che Sharkie
[Source: Parliamentary Library, Senators and Members of the 45th Parliament.]
STOP PRESS ANOUNCEMENT: It seems we have to add Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce to our list of those that are citizens of a foreign power, and is therefore deemed as owing allegiance to it. Yesterday (14-08-2017) the NZ Government confirmed that Mr Joyce is a citizen by decent, through his father who was born there. This revelation may force a by-election in his NSW seat of New England. And today we learn, thanks to Mr Turnbull, there maybe 5 Labor MPs shaking in their shoes! Where will it end?
Written and authorised by Yvonne Gentle, National Secretary, Rise Up Australia party.