Sunday, 19 November, 2017

Malcolm Turnbull announces new plan to solve citizenship debacle

Mr Turnbull revealed Mr Frydenberg's mother was born in a Budapest ghetto in 1943 and fled Mr Turnbull revealed Mr Frydenberg's mother was born in a Budapest ghetto in 1943 and fled
Howard Terry | 09 November, 2017, 01:05

Australian MPs and senators will be forced to lodge declarations of citizenship as part of a plan to overcome the country's dual citizenship row.

"[Shorten] wants to exploit this issue, he wants to prolong that, he does not want to resolve it", Malcolm Turnbull told Seven Sunrise on Thursday morning.

The "big red flashing letters" are obviously created to replace the big black bold letters at the top of the nomination form every candidate signs when standing for election, where the Australian Electoral Commission says: "Your attention is drawn in particular to section 44 of the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Australia".

"Until this matter is resolved I think that it's going to be an ongoing circus and governments and countries can't afford to have an ongoing circus of this type", he told 2GB.

If they had been a dual citizen, MPs would need to provide details and evidence of the time and manner in which their foreign citizenship was renounced or otherwise came to an end.

In a somewhat heated early morning television interview, Mr Turnbull was pressed about being distracted by the intricate details of the citizenship scandal instead of being focused on running the country.

"The obligation is on each member and each senator to make a full disclosure".

The Prime Minister says he's prepared to budge on that - but more discussions are needed.

Shorten says all Labor members eligible to sit.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull tonight met with Opposition Leader Bill Shorten and Labor's Senate leader Penny Wong in Melbourne for two hours to thrash out an issue that is undermining confidence in the parliament.

The recount is understood to have returned One Nation's Fraser Anning, Green Andrew Bartlett, Liberal Hollie Hughes and Green Jordon Steele-John, who will be confirmed as the new senators by the high court on Friday and sworn in on Monday week.

It's unclear if Senator Lambie has renounced any potential United Kingdom citizenship by descent before entering parliament.

The prime minister's about-turn came as Tony Abbott called for the dual citizenship "circus" to end.

If federal politicians were to make false or incorrect declarations it would be a serious breach of parliamentary privilege.

With government numbers now evenly poised in the lower house after Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce was ousted when the High Court ruled he was ineligible, the PM met with Labor leader Bill Shorten in a bid to reach agreement on when MPs must disclose their citizenship status, based on the plan Turnbull announced on Monday.

Opposition leader Bill Shorten has said Australia can not continue into the new year without resolving the dual-citizenship crisis afflicting parliament.

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