Never a slow news day in Canberra

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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)

Turnbull weeds out remaining dual citizens

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There’s good news and bad news for Malcolm Turnbull.

The good news is that he has found a way to fix the citizenship crisis.

The bad news is that he may loose his government altogether.

The House of Representatives and the Senate will seek to pass resolutions that will demand MP’s declare if they are dual citizens.

MP’s and senators will be given 21 days to declare if they are dual citizens in a new register similar to the ones they use to disclose financial interests. The register will ask for their place of birth, and that of their parents.

If they declare they are dual citizens they must provide documentation. The only issue now is one of timing:

  • Parliament has one sitting week left, meaning that MP’s could declare if they are dual citizens during the summer break
  • Parliament then doesn’t sit until February, where they would be referred to the High Court
  • The High Court would hand down a verdict in March/April, with by-elections in May.

The crisis would end by June, almost a year since the first MP reveal he had an issue.

High Court orders by-election for Joyce as 8th dual citizen outed

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Malcolm Turnbull is in Israel at the moment – will he visit the wailing wall?

The High Court has booted Barnaby Joyce from Parliament – the electorate of New England are expected to give him his job back when they vote on Saturday December 2, for the third time in as many years.

The President of the Senate, Stephen Parry has been responsible for writing to the High Court on five seperate occasions to settle the dual citizenship crisis in the upper house.

Today he revealed he suspects to be a dual citizen of the United Kingdom. He will resign as soon as the British High Commission confirms this.

The citizenship crisis continues – this is the 8th to be caught up in the scandal.

AWU Raids – Timeline of events

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Confused about the AFP media leak? Here’s what you need to know:
1. An anonymous tip-off to the ROC suggests donations from AWU to GetUp! were not made legally. ROC decides to investigate. 

2. In August, the ROC asks for documents from the AWU, which refuse to give them. 

3. On Tuesday, the ROC apply to the Federal Court for a search warrant of the AWU officers for the documents. ROC believe the documents were being destroyed. 

4. Later that afternoon, the Federal Police raid the officers of the AWU. The Media is present, and have arrived prepared to shoot footage. 

5. On Wednesday, Labor made allegations that Minister Cash’s office tipped the media off to the AFP raid. On five seperate occasions Minister Cash says she and her office was not involved. 

6. Minister Cash met with the Prime Minister before Question time on Wednesday where she said that she did not inform any media about the raids. Her media advisor was present. 

7. Three hours later during a dinner break, the same media advisor admitted that he received information that the AFP raid was taking place – and that he informed the media. He resigned shortly after. 

8. Today, Cash sent a letter to the director of ROC, requesting he begin an investigation into who leaked the information of the raids to her office.

Union Raids backfire as Cash Staffer resigns over leak

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A ‘senior advisor’ of Michaelia Cash has plunged the Turnbull Government into crisis by tipping the media off to the raid conducted by the Federal Police of the Australian Workers Union. This is despite the minister indicating on 5 seperate occasions yesterday that she had no knowledge of the media tip-off.

As we posted yesterday, the Registered Organisations Commission was searching for evidence to confirm that a $100,000 donation from the AWU to GetUp! was processed legally. It’s been revealed a media advisor inside an independent government organisation may have revealed this to Cash’s staffer.   

This is now developing into a serious issue for the Turnbull government. Taking into account the AFP raids for NBN documents during last year’s election campaign, Labor is set to argue a strong case that media staff inside an independent government organisation have been acting in a political manner.

The Senate committee resumes today.


Pressure on Shorten over Donations

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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.


High Court to Consider Citizenship

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The High Court is back in action today to settle all seven dual citizenship cases. Previous cases of section 44 breeches determined by the court have set a very high bar.
Over three days six senators and one lower house member will argue their various cases with a multitude of arguments. Joyce, Canavan and Nash claim they had no knowledge of their dual citizenship.
Ludlum and Waters claim they are both guilty and have resigned, together with Xenophon who has decided to re-enter South Australian State politics.
A special hearing was conducted in September which concluded that Roberts was a dual citizen when he nominated.