Dual Citizenship – Round Two

Section 44 Cases

We’re in the final stretches of busting dual citizens in the federal parliament and one thing is for certain – it’s not looking pretty.

Following the publication of the citizenship register, up to 20 MP’s fall into the following categories:

– Some MP’s indicated they had renounced, but the date was after the close on nominations for the 2016 election.
– Some MP’s believed they renounced, but could not find the relevant papers.
– Some MP’s indicated they had connections to another country, but did not provide any documentation that confirmed or denied potential citizenship.

The next step will be for the parliament to refer the MP’s with questionable circumstances to the High Court, who will decide if they need to be booted.

The High Court would likely rule on all the cases in March, meaning that we could be heading to a ‘Super Saturday’ of by-elections in April.

This should be all over by May 2018. We promise.

Same Sex Marriage hits the lower house

 

The same sex marriage legislation has hit the lower house and is expected to pass this week.

During a second reading debate, members can speak for up to 15 minutes as the House considers any bill.

As you can imagine, many members are using this time to share stories from their electorates as well as their reflections on the whole debate. The House has extended its sittings for the week.

The amendments to add religious and freedom of conscience protections are set to fail, mainly because Labor has bound its members to vote no to all of them.

We’ll keep you in the loop when the bill is passed. Attached are two graphics, showing the strongest results from the survey.

Barnaby victorious in historic by-election result

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‘We’re getting the band back together!’ said Malcolm Turnbull, upon hearing the massive victory Barnaby Joyce received in the New England by-election.

And massive it was – a 7.3% swing towards him, and primary vote of 64%.

Historically, by-elections in government held seats since WWII have resulted in the Government feeling swings away from them. This is clearly in the opposite direction and is so for three reasons:

He is a popular member, with a prominent position inside the government
He did not have an opposition candidate that was well known.
It’s recognised that he’s in a difficult situation!

Barnaby will take his seat in the House of Representatives once the vote is formally declared. Next stop – Bennelong on December 16

Barnaby Joyce to face New England Voters Today

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Today the voters of New England will head to the ballot box, following Barnaby Joyce’s disqualification by the High Court over dual citizenship.
 
It is widely accepted that he will be returned as the member, but we may not know tonight, given the large number of candidates – 17!
 
The Deputy Prime Minister won his seat in the 2016 election with a primary vote of 52.9%.
 
That is expected to dip slightly, but he should win on preferences. The Bennelong by election is on December 16

Nationals Leader calls for Turnbull Resignation

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Deputy Premier of NSW, John Barilaro has declared that he has ‘lost all hope’ in Malcolm Turnbull’s leadership and that he ‘should give Australians a Christmas gift and go before Christmas.’


 
This is the second time in as many days that the National Party have spoken out against the Prime Minister.
 
It’s widely accepted that Turnbull had a difficult choice: Announce a Banking Royal Commission, or face the humiliation of a backbench revolt of National Party MP’s who had committed to crossing the floor to establish one in significant numbers.
 
This latest round of public leadership brawls by the Nationals signal that all is not right within the coalition.

Government Establishes Banking Royal Commission

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Australia’s big four banks have asked the Government for a Royal Commission into themselves. And the Turnbull Government has agreed.

Federal Cabinet met this morning and agreed to establish a Royal Commission that will report by February 1 2019, at a cost of 75 million dollars.

In a letter written to the government, the CEO’s of the four major banks say this is now in the ‘national interest’, despite warning that such a commission may being reputational damage to the industry.

This comes after years of the Government rejecting such a proposal (including during the election).

The Commission will be into ‘Misconduct into the Financial Services Industry’ and will include cases studies into banks, wealth managers, superanuation companies and the industry. It will then offer recommendations to the Government.

The Royal Commission comes a week before the House of Representatives was due to sit with the Government two votes behind on the floor due to by-elections, and several backbench National MP’s indicating they would cross the floor to establish an inquiry.

 

Dastyari resigns over Chinese connections. Again.

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Bill Shorten has asked Sam Dastyari to resign over his links to Chinese donors. Again.

He will remain a Senator for NSW.

The resignation comes following fresh revelations of his connections to a Chinese businessman living in Australia, who is actively involved with the Chinese Communist Party.

In December last year Dastyari was busted for having several legal and travel bills paid for by Huang Xiangmo. During the 2016 election, Dastyari spoke at a press conference when he made comments on the South Chinese Sea Dispute that were contrary to Labor Party policy.

These comments are connected to a $400,000 donation Mr Huang made to Labor shortly after.

Dastyari said these comments on the dispute were ‘garbled and off the cuff’. In the last 24 hours, the ABC released audio of that press conference for Chinese language media that made it clear that the remarks were scripted

In addition to this, it’s reported that Sam told Mr Huang that his phone may have been tapped by American and Australian Authorities.

Yesterday’s revelations appear to be the final straw.