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Posted by: Charles Dec 5 2017, 11:03 AM
More MPs snared by late bid to cut UK ties in citizenship crisis

Phoebe Wearne, Canberra
Tuesday, 5 December 2017 4:30AM

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Katy Gallagher. Picture: Mick Tsikas/AAP Image

A Labor frontbencher faces referral to the High Court as the citizenship crisis threatens to engulf a new wave of MPs whose renunciation was not confirmed until after last year’s election.

Documents made public by Federal Parliament yesterday show former ACT chief minister Katy Gallagher, who gained British citizenship by descent through her father, submitted forms to relinquish her British citizenship on April 20 last year.

But British officials confirmed she ceased being British on August 16 — two months after nominations for the election closed.

Senator Gallagher’s declaration, lodged under new parliamentary rules for citizenship disclosure, also reveals she sat in the Senate as a dual citizen for almost 18 months after filling a casual vacancy in 2015.

She maintains that she is eligible to sit in Parliament because she took all “reasonable steps” under British law to renounce.

“Based on all the advice I have available to me, I do not believe that I should refer myself to the Court of Disputed Returns,” Senator Gallagher said.

“However, ultimately that will be a matter for the Senate to determine.”

The release of the paperwork puts Senator Gallagher at risk of becoming the first Labor MP to be referred to the High Court over citizenship doubts.

Labor’s Josh Wilson, the member for Fremantle, and Justine Keay and Nick Xenophon Team MP Rebekha Sharkie also fall into the group of MPs who took steps to renounce their British citizenship before nominating but did not have their renunciation confirmed until after nominations closed on June 9.

Constitutional law experts have warned — on a strict reading of previous High Court decisions — it could be argued that reasonable steps are not enough to escape disqualification on constitutional grounds.

The Government has also singled out Queensland Labor MP Susan Lamb, who holds the seat of Longman on a margin of less than one per cent, for referral after the Home Office refused her application to renounce her British citizenship because it could not determine her status from the documents provided.

The citizenship disclosure regime has also uncovered several MPs who could have been disqualified in previous Parliaments, including WA senators Louise Pratt and Dean Smith, but the revelations have no bearing on their current eligibility.

This saga is proving to be painfully drawn out.

Posted by: Bill Dec 5 2017, 11:35 AM
This saga is proving to be painfully drawn out.

It's designed to be painfully drawn out Charles.

The family history disclosures hit the Parliament (lower house) today. Everyone will pore over the entrails until Thursday, and everyone will go home for Xmas.

Nothing will be done, no one will be referred to the High Court etc. until Parliament resumes in February (?).

That will give the government some time to come up with a legislative compromise to 'hopefully' circumvent the Constitution and save their sorry arses.

We have no idea how the High Court will interpret the phrase 'having taken reasonable steps' and probably won't know till around Budget time (May) next year.

Depressing, but that's what passes for 'good government' these days.

Posted by: scepo Dec 5 2017, 12:20 PM
The High Court made a judgement on "reasonable steps" in the case of Malcolm Roberts Bill. Others as well I think from memory. Doesn't sound too good for Ms. Gallagher in my opinion, unless of course being a member of the Labor Party makes a difference.

The government cannot circumvent the Constitution Bill. You know that. You also know it can only be altered by referendum.

Finally we have not had good government for a decade now Bill. I thought you would have been used to it by now.

Posted by: Bill Dec 5 2017, 12:57 PM
QUOTE (scepo @ Dec 5 2017, 12:20 PM)
The High Court made a judgement on "reasonable steps" in the case of Malcolm Roberts Bill. Others as well I think from memory. Doesn't sound too good for Ms. Gallagher in my opinion, unless of course being a member of the Labor Party makes a difference.

The government cannot circumvent the Constitution Bill. You know that. You also know it can only be altered by referendum.

Finally we have not had good government for a decade now Bill. I thought you would have been used to it by now.

Hi scepo

In Malcolm Robert's case the HC deemed that he had not taken 'reasonable steps' to renounce hisitizenship. Even the email address he used didn't exist.

It remains to be seen how the HC will determine whether 'reasonable steps' were taken in any future cases referred to them.

Maybe I shouldn't have used the term "circumvent" scepo , the government is certainly exploring ways to allow MP's to renounce their foreign citizenship by just standing up in Parliament and declaring, "I hereby renounce my foreign citizenship"..........and that's it.

Brandis is said to be 'modelling' enabling legislation on something similar to what is currently used in the U.N. Doubts are being expressed over its legitimacy similar to what you expressed. The Constitution cannot be changed by simply passing a law in Parliament.

Posted by: Alicia Dec 5 2017, 01:16 PM
It’s a pity they don’t pore over their legislation in the same way as they are nitpicking over citizenship. If they did so, maybe some of the “unintended consequences” with legislation may not happen, unless, of course, the “unintended consequences” were actually “intended”. For example GST legislation and many others.

Posted by: charka Dec 5 2017, 02:08 PM
Not a crisis to me ,sack them until they are allowed to be there legally

Posted by: lee Dec 5 2017, 05:05 PM
In Malcolm Robert's case the HC deemed that he had not taken 'reasonable steps' to renounce hisitizenship. Even the email address he used didn't exist.

It remains to be seen how the HC will determine whether 'reasonable steps' were taken in any future cases referred to them.

To be able to nominate dual citizens' must have renounced. In the case where revocation is refused; paperwork that states that must be held - prior to nomination. It would need two different rulings one for people unable to revoke and a different, more lenient ruling being applied where revocation is granted.

Posted by: Charles Dec 5 2017, 06:18 PM
At least five MPs facing High Court referrals

Updated: 6:42 pm, Tuesday, 5 December 2017

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At least five MPs have citizenship clouds over their heads as the government and Labor sift through 226 sets of documents tabled in parliament.

Labor's David Feeney says he will be asking to be referred to the High Court on Thursday if documents relating to his UK citizenship renunciation can't be found in time, potentially triggering a by-election in his Victorian seat of Batman.

Mr Feeney, who was one of 150 MPs to lodge their citizenship and family history details in parliament on Tuesday, said he lodged renunciation papers in 2007 but has been unable to find any records of them.

'On this basis, if the relevant documents have not been located by the time this issue has been dealt with in the House of Representatives, I will be asking the manager of opposition business to refer this matter to the High Court,' he told parliament.

Liberal MP Jason Falinski has sought further legal advice after being unable to ascertain whether his USSR-born father, Polish and British born grandfathers and Leningrad-born grandmother conferred foreign citizenship on him.

He wrote on his citizenship declaration form lodged with parliament on Tuesday he had made inquiries of both the Polish consulate and UK High Commission and searched 'archival material'.

'I have further sought legal advice ... to confirm my citizenship status solely as an Australian citizen,' he wrote.

Tasmanian Labor MP Justine Keay, whose father was born in the UK, completed a declaration of renunciation on May 9, a month before the close of nominations for the 2016 election.

Australia Post confirmed the form was delivered to the UK Home Office on May 23.

However, the Home Office did not write back to her confirming the renunciation until July 8, six days after election day, and the declaration of renunciation was registered on July 11.

The Home Office letter was stamped both 'received 31 May' and 'received 16 June'.

Queensland Labor MP Susan Lamb, whose father was born in Scotland, filled out her renunciation form on May 24 and the Home Office processed payment on June 6, three days before the close of nominations.

However, the Home Office sought further information on July 7, and on August 10 the British bureaucracy told her: 'We cannot be satisfied from the documents available that you hold British citizenship. The application has therefore been refused.'

WA Labor MP Josh Wilson, who was born in London, completed his renunciation form on May 12 and confirmation of its delivery was given on May 16, with the payment processed on June 6.

However, the date of the UK Home Office letter confirming renunciation was June 24, well after the close of nominations for the 2016 election.

Nick Xenophon Team MP Rebekha Sharkie renounced her British ties on April 19 last year but did not get confirmation until June 29, after nominations closed.

In the upper house, the Turnbull government is weighing up whether to seek Greens and crossbench support in the Senate to refer Labor senator Katy Gallagher to the court over her UK dual citizenship.

Senator Gallagher, the former ACT chief minister, did not receive confirmation of her UK citizenship renunciation until two months after nominations closed for the 2016 federal election and 118 days after she lodged the application.

The Greens party room on Tuesday agreed to support 'bona fide referrals', but not any partisan warfare.

Labor politicians and supporters took a great deal of pleasure in the Government's discomfort over citizenship problems.
Now that a number of their own are under scrutiny, they have become strangely silent .... that is apart from our resident leftie, Bill, who manages to find an anti-Government or pro-Labor take on any political story.

Posted by: Michael.W Dec 5 2017, 07:23 PM
I couldn't care bloody less about who is referred to the HC. Goodbye and we will better for it.

After Shorten and The Iranian Traitor, It's clear as mud Politicians are running their own race of Government. When Labor endorse spies to undermine the very social boarder security, defence security & Government by betrayal and its endorse bye leaders, then we all have been betrayed.

I stated this before and I will stated again, the renouncing of dual citizenship is nothing but plan bulldust and Rubbish, Its a lawyers method of side stepping the issue. They renounce today and re-apply tomorrow.

As far as I concern if your a dual citizen regardless of how heritage applies then you can't simply stand. Only then we might just get some people who actually care about Australia instead of pissing it up against the wall.

Whilst we are at it, tell the UN and the UNHCR to both piss off. we don't need them, never did, it was all based on trade benefit to which Australia has benefited nothing other the selling out it benefits to other countries.

Makes me really wonder, what our diggers ever fought for. Our gutless politicians sure don't, couldn't & won't care.

Posted by: Phillip J. Dec 6 2017, 09:26 AM
This might sound strange, but does dual citizenship mean that a person doesn't need a visa to travel to their "other" country? Is that how it works? It sounds a bit naive, I know, but the thought just crossed my mind. 🤔

Posted by: Flin Dec 6 2017, 09:29 AM
Bill Shorten doesn't need duel citizenship, he can astro travel where ever he goes including Mars.

Posted by: Michael.W Dec 6 2017, 11:38 AM
Mars is still too close, Pluto much more to my liking.

Posted by: scepo Dec 7 2017, 08:56 AM
Labor politician Brian Mitchell calls ABC journalist quizzing MP Justine Keay a 'maggot'

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Photo: Journalist Matt Wordsworth was called a maggot by Labor politician Brian Mitchell as he quizzed Labor MP Justine Keay.

A Federal Labor politician has called an ABC reporter a "maggot" while trying to shield embattled MP Justine Keay from reporters.

Key points:

Labor politician Brian Mitchell apologises after calling journalist a maggot

Lateline reporter Matt Wordsworth was quizzing embattled MP Justine Keay

Mr Mitchell tried to shield Ms Keay from answering questions on dual citizenship

Ms Keay was a British dual-citizen at the last election but is refusing to refer herself to the High Court.

At a barbeque at Parliament House on Wednesday, fellow Tasmanian Labor member Brian Mitchell tried to physically block an ABC cameraman before sniping at reporter Matt Wordsworth.

"Go and do your research, maggot!" Mr Mitchell said to the Lateline reporter.
"Ask the right question, don't be prejudicial, don't use prejudicial language."

When Mr Wordsworth asked Ms Keay when she was chosen as Labor's candidate for Braddon, Mr Mitchell said: "What's that got to do with it?"

"The High Court has previously said ... that if you take reasonable steps that's grounds to meet what's required under section 44," Mr Mitchell said.

"She's answered all this."

Ms Keay was preselected in June 2015 but did not send paperwork to the Home Office until May 2016.

UK authorities only registered her renunciation on July 11, 2016 — nine days after last year's election.

Mr Mitchell was a journalist and newspaper editor in Western Australia for more than a decade before being elected as the Member for Lyons last year.

After making his comments, Mr Mitchell told Parliament he had called Mr Wordsworth and apologised.

"Earlier today I saw some vision on ABC TV which included some heated words from myself towards a press gallery journalist," he said.

"I respect the work, in fact deeply respect the work, that Mr Wordsworth and all his colleagues in the press gallery do, and they should be free to do it without fear or favour."

Liberals seize on 'outrageous attack'

The Minister responsible for the ABC, Mitch Fifield, said Mr Mitchell's behaviour was appalling.

"Journalists doing their job should not be subjected to abuse," the Communications Minister said on Twitter.

Tasmanian Liberal Senator Eric Abetz said it was an "outrageous attack".
"Brian Mitchell's ugly and bullying comment and the silence from his other Tasmanian Labor colleagues is indicative of the Labor culture," Senator Abetz said in a statement.

"Mr Shorten needs to pull his whole Tasmanian Labor team into line."
The Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance said it was "unacceptable behaviour towards an accredited journalist".

Union CEO Paul Murphy tweeted: "Abusing a journalist doing his job. An absolute disgrace."

Justine Keay says eligibility is 'rock solid'

When Ms Keay was allowed to answer, the Braddon MP said she took, "every single step I needed to".

"The date you post your documents … to the Home Office is the date that you have actually renounced your citizenship," she said.

Earlier on Wednesday, Ms Keay said her eligibility was "rock solid" and referring her to the High Court would be unreasonable.

"The cloud that has come over me is a pure fabrication of the law by people like Eric Abetz and Malcolm Turnbull," she told ABC Radio Hobart.

"I'm extremely confident in what the outcome will be."

This would have been a huge shock to the biased left wing journo Wordsworth.

A bit like being back stabbed by your own side.

Posted by: Alicia Dec 7 2017, 09:25 AM
Maybe scales are being peeled from eyes. 🙈🙉🙊👹

Posted by: charka Dec 7 2017, 09:35 AM
Why are they still paid ?how can they be allowed to vote? At the very least it is fraud

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