Greens' Scott Ludlam Resigns After Dual Citizenship Revealed
Jul 16 2017
When asked if Mr Ludlam will have to pay back his salary from when he was first elected to the Senate, Mr Turnbull did not rule it out, saying the decision would be left to Finance Minister Mathias Cormann.
'I apologise unreservedly for this mistake'.
The deputy leader of an Australian political party announced Friday that he was ending his nine-year career in Parliament because he had discovered he had technically never been a senator.
"Recently, as about a week ago or so, it was brought to my attention that I hold dual citizenship nationality of Australia and New Zealand".
The highly regarded barrister obtained proof Senator Ludlam still holds New Zealand citizenship and is ineligible for politics in Australia.
"I checked about three weeks ago with the NZ Department of Internal Affairs and applied to search the register in relation to Mr Ludlam and Senator Hinch".
Dual citizens are banned from holding office in the federal parliament under the Australian Constitution.
"It's going to be millions of dollars and my total assets amount to a fast computer and some nice shoes", he said.
He settled in Australia not long before his ninth birthday, before being naturalised when he was in his mid-teens.
It then took Senator Ludlam's office several days to contact the High Commission in New Zealand and verify the information was correct.
"This is entirely on me and I should have addressed it in 2006", he said.
Ludlam's Greens colleagues paid tribute to him on Twitter.
A spokesperson for the Greens told The New Daily that party leader Richard Di Natale was away on leave and unable to comment on Mr Ludlam's resignation. I'll really miss it, but there are other ways to make trouble.
His resignation will leave a vacant seat in the Senate, which is likely to be filled by fellow Greens member 22-year-old disability activist, Jordan Steele-John.
"He will continue to be a champion of the Greens movement and a dear friend".
The Senate is expected to refer the matter to the Court of Disputed Returns, which the Greens think will call for a countback of votes from the 2016 election.
Mr Steele-John, who has cerebral palsy, had to give up his British citizenship to run for parliament back in 2013.
Bob Day and Rod Culleton were both ruled ineligible for constitutional reasons, while Liberal senator Chris Back resigned.
On Friday, Mr Ludlam quit after accepting he had been ineligible to be a senator since his election in 2008.
Speaking to The Weekend Australian, Cameron insisted that he was not politically motivated, and that he merely acted as "a citizen" with a "keen interest" in the workings of the Australian Constitution.
The Australian High Court ruled that Senators Bob Day and Rod Culleton were ineligible for their jobs since a federal election a year ago.