News

Dual citizen MP ban to stay, changes made

by
May 17, 2018

A ban on dual citizens running for federal parliament led to Labor's Katy Gallagher standing down.

The ban on dual citizens running for federal parliament is likely to continue, but candidates may receive help in getting the all-clear.

The parliament's electoral matters committee is due to release its inquiry report on section 44 of the constitution, which has got a swag of MPs in trouble in recent months.

However, ahead of the report Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said he did not think Australians would support a referendum to allow dual citizens to sit in parliament.

Mr Turnbull says it's not hard for candidates to renounce British and New Zealand citizenship, which have been the cause of most of the disqualifications.

The committee has been looking at the issue of whether a multicultural country like Australia, in which half of all citizens are either born overseas or have foreign-born parents, should continue such a ban.

Section 44 of the constitution also disqualifies candidates, members and senators for holding an "office of profit under the Crown", or having a "direct or indirect pecuniary interest" in an "agreement with the Public Service of the Commonwealth".

The committee was tasked with reporting on solutions such as a pre-nomination questionnaire for election candidates, or help for candidates to swiftly renounce foreign citizenship.

It also examined whether laws should be amended so an Australian citizen born in Australia is not disqualified by reason of foreign citizenship by descent unless they have acknowledged, accepted or acquiesced in it.

The Australian Electoral Commission on Friday will conduct a special count to replace Labor senator Katy Gallagher, who was disqualified over her British ties.

The count is expected to confirm union boss David Smith as her replacement.

By
More in National
Login Sign Up

Dummy text