Wednesday, 16 August 2017
Solicitor-General's Advice; Order for the Production of Documents
I seek leave to amend general business notice of motion No. 428 standing in my name for today concerning an order for the production of documents relating to advice from the Solicitor-General before asking that it be taken as formal.
Leave is granted.
I move the motion as amended:
(a) the Senate notes:
(i) the admission of the Member for New England, Mr Barnaby Joyce MP, that he may hold New Zealand citizenship,
(ii) that the New Zealand Government has confirmed that Mr Joyce is a citizen of New Zealand, and
(iii) that the case has been referred to the Court of Disputed Returns; and
(b) there be laid on the table, by the Attorney General, by no later than 12 noon on 17 August 2017, the Solicitor-General's advice regarding the eligibility of the Member for New England to continue to sit as a member of the House of Representatives or serve as a minister in the Cabinet.
The government opposes the motion. It has been the longstanding practice of both coalition and Labor governments not to release legal advice to government. There is no reason whatsoever to depart from that practice in this instance.