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.

Dastyari resigns over Chinese connections. Again.

PIAP Images (5)

 

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.

Australia Votes Yes

Marriage Survey Results - National and State (1)

Australians have voted ‘YES’ to changing the law to allow same sex couples to marry.

With response rate of just under 80% ,the survey has more authority than the Brexit vote (72%), the Irish same sex referendum (60%) and the poll that elected Donald Trump (56%).

So where to from here? From today, it’s now a battle for the marriage bills.

The Turnbull government will allow Senator Dean Smith to put up a private members bill for debate. It is expected that it will almost certainly pass. Using a private members bill will by-pass debate in the government party room.

Senator James Patterson has put up his own bill that includes additional protections for business owners to refuse services for same sex marriage celebrations. It is expected that this bill will not pass, but elements of this bill will try to be amended into the Smith bill.

Senator Dean Smith will kick off the debate in the Senate tomorrow.

Never a slow news day in Canberra

PIAP Images

All these things have taken place before lunchtime

1) The Bennelong by-election date has been set – December 16. The MP re-contesting had no idea the date had been set when speaking with the media later in the day.

2) The major parties have agreed on a citizenship register. Documents must be submitted by December 1 and it now includes grandparents as well as parents.

3) Three new senators have been sworn in (2 Greens and Hanson).

4) The Hanson Senator defected from One Nation less than 20 minutes after being sworn in. He’s an independent now.

5) Jacqui Lambie may resign, she is clarifying if she is Scottish or not.

6) Trump canceled a meeting with Malcolm Turnbull (reasons unknown).

7) Senator James Patterson has released a conservative bill to legislate for same sex marriage that includes extensive protections for religious folks and parents.

8) Scott Ryan is the new Senate president. He resigned from the ministry.

(Edit: Trump and Turnbull will now have dinner together)

Pressure on Shorten over Donations

PIAP Images (10)

The pressure is on Bill Shorten today to reveal key details about donations made to GetUp! when he was leader of the Australian Workers Union.

Its been revealed that GetUp! relied on large donations from the AWU and the Registered Organisations Commission is investigating whether the decade old donations were made legally – with approval from the board of the AWU.

The investigation has ignited a furious debate in parliament, after the Federal Police raided the offices of the AWU yesterday.

 

Leaders consider fixed 4 year terms 

The life of a parliament should be three years, however on average it has been two and a half since federation.

Both major parties are now considering a plan that would see fixed four year terms apply to parliamentary cycles, meaning that the government of the day would loose the ability to head to the polls at a time of their choosing, but in return have at least an extra year to govern.

On the positive side, it would save tax payers money, and give more time for actual policy development instead of ‘election mode’ announcements.

On the negative side, rubbish governments would be entrenched, voters would vote less, and a referendum is required to make the change. 

Bill and Malcolm have pledged to talk about this reform more.