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Turnbull announces plan to have MPs declare citizenship status after election

08 November 2017, 02:24 | Myrtle Vega

Leader of the Opposition Bill Shorten has suggested that all MPs disclose their family history

Leader of the Opposition Bill Shorten has suggested that all MPs disclose their family history

"This is what this will do, ensure that the members, all the senators. their personal obligation is brought squarely to the front of their mind and that they make these disclosures", he said. He was born in 1951, just two years after Australian citizenship came into being in 1949, meaning his father, who emigrated in 1911 as a child, would have needed to renounce his own United Kingdom citizenship during that period.

Australia's Prime Minister has announced new rules to make all federal politicians declare their citizenship status.

The move comes as the government tries to respond to the raft of dual-citizenship problems that has created chaos, and as Mr Turnbull faces persistent criticism over a perceived lack of leadership on the issue.

"Until this matter is resolved I think that it's going to be an ongoing circus and governments and countries can't afford to have an ongoing circus of this type", he told 2GB.

'The obligation is on each member and each senator to make a full disclosure as I have repeatedly said in recent times.

"I take it as a given that every member of the House and the Senate, as of today, believes that they are eligible to sit in the House or the Senate".

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The prime minister's about-turn came as Tony Abbott called for the dual citizenship "circus" to end. The opposition Labor Party, which suggested a similar plan last week, has indicated it is open to discussing the new proposals.

MPs and senators will be required to make a disclosure about their citizenship status within 21 days of a special resolution passing both houses of federal parliament.

However, British citizenship expert Philip Gamble told Fairfax Media that under United Kingdom law Mr Alexander would be a citizen by descent unless he took formal steps to renounce British nationality. Any change to the Australian Constitution will need to go to a referendum, with a majority of people in a majority of states required to approve any change.

They must provide evidence of citizenship renunciation.

It's the same law that saw Nationals senator Fiona Nash, Liberals senator and One Nation's Malcolm Roberts ruled ineligible to stand by the High Court, and which led to the resignation of Liberal senate president Stephen Parry last week.

They must disclose their date and place of birth as well as those details for their parents.

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