Senate debates

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Parliamentary Representation

Sinodinos, Senator Arthur

3:06 pm

Photo of Penny WongPenny Wong (SA, Australian Labor Party, Leader of the Opposition in the Senate) Share this | Hansard source

I seek leave to make a short statement.

Leave granted.

Given Senator Sinodinos's personal circumstances, I regret that I feel that it is incumbent upon us to respond. But, given that the document has been tabled and some assertions made, I do want to place upon the record the view of the Labor Party, which, as I again say, both in light of our view about partisan referrals and in light of his medical circumstances, we leave for the government to reflect upon.

The documents tabled by the Attorney deal with whether or not Senator Sinodinos has registered his Greek citizenship. The allegation is not that he registered his citizenship but that he acquired it. The consistent advice that the opposition has had and has given its persons nominating for parliament is that Greek citizenship by descent is automatic at birth, as is made clear in article 1 of the Greek Nationality Code. Under article 18 of that code, a written declaration must be submitted to the nearest Greek consulate. Those are the relevant documents. We don't believe the documents that have been tabled reflect that. Certainly, the advice to Labor candidates in a similar position over the years has consistently been that such a written declaration must be provided.


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