Saturday, 26 September, 2020

Dual citizenship saga strikes Aussie government again, with minister implicated

Debra Rodriguez | 19 August, 2017, 04:33

The Turnbull government's political crisis over dual citizenships has intensified, with the deputy leader of the National party, Fiona Nash, joining Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce in referring herself to the high court - in her case, on the basis she has British citizenship by descent.

In a written question to Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne, Mr Hipkins questioned whether a child born in Australia to a New Zealand father would automatically have New Zealand citizenship. I had very little contact with my father throughout his life and he died nine years ago.

Like Joyce, Nash has referred the case to the High Court for qualification.

Senator Nash holds the Regional Development, Regional Communications and Local Government portfolios and sits in cabinet.

She has represented the Nationals in the Senate since 2005, and has served as deputy leader of the party since February 2016.

It looks like it might be an easier task to list the Australian politicians who are NOT now embroiled in citizenship drama, as yet another one fell victim to the affliction that has taken down so many MPs over the past month.

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The country's High Court has its first hearing on the matter set down for 24 August, and is expected to decide by December. The remainder of the politicians who may be in breach of the Constitution are from the Senate.

The saga has gripped Australian politics for five weeks, forcing dozens of MPs to make statements about their citizenship status, and causing two Green Party members to resign.

Throughout this week, the Turnbull government sought to divert from the disarray produced by Deputy Prime Minister Joyce's predicament, as a New Zealand dual citizen, by drumming up nationalist accusations.

Senator Nash is the sixth parliamentarian to be a dual citizen.

"I believe there is only one way forward for this Parliament and that is for the Prime Minister to prorogue the Parliament, [and] effectively end this session pending the outcome of the High Court, pending any by-elections that may be necessary", Senator Bernardi said.

Earlier, Australian Conservatives Senator Cory Bernardi, a former Liberal, called for Parliament to be suspended until the crisis is resolved.

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