House debates

Tuesday, 15 August 2017


Qualifications of Members

3:02 pm

Photo of Joel FitzgibbonJoel Fitzgibbon (Hunter, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Minister for Agriculture) Share this | Hansard source

I second the motion. This Deputy Prime Minister now stands condemned by his own words not on one occasion but on two occasions. The first time was when he decided to give us his learned opinion on section 44(i) of the Constitution when he admitted that anyone holding dual citizenship is not qualified to serve in this place. The second time was during question time today when he conceded that up until the weekend, at least, he was a citizen of New Zealand. Therefore, he is clearly in contravention of section 44(i) of the Constitution.

This motion before the House, put by the Manager of Opposition Business, is both important and urgent. Why? Because it goes to the very heart of our Westminster system. A minister of the Crown should not serve in this place, should not exercise the power of the executive, without the confidence of this place. When this House yesterday unanimously resolved to refer this minister to the High Court, it, in effect, expressed no confidence in this minister. His Prime Minister and the minister himself should have taken notice of that.

But they do have form. For the last two years I have been trying to get just a peep at the so-called coalition agreement. We haven't been able to get the coalition agreement. In fact, the Prime Minister has me in the Federal Court spending taxpayers' money, opposing my right and the right of the Australian community—


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