After watching the ABC National Press Club address on August 30, I can only conclude that the Australian Constitution is outdated, especially under Sections 44 and 64. It appears that successive governments have left it in the “too hard basket” without attempting to rectify it. We now have to wait for the High Court to interpret and decide on the eligibility of several duly elected parliamentarians.
The address was presented by a well-respected constitutional law expert, Professor George Williams, Dean of Law at the University of NSW. Apparently the Australian Constitution did not include the state of Western Australia because they joined the federation too late.
From my limited interpretation, even though a person was born in Australia, they may also have citizenship with another country, depending on where their parents were born. Apparently, if you hold citizenship with another country, it costs an “arm and a leg” to have this anomaly, legally revoked by the other country. This fact appears to have caused all the present confusion in our federal parliament. Several other countries do allow parliamentarians to hold dual citizenship.
I believe, a select committee, formed of diverse constitutional experts, excluding politicians, should prepare a sensible new Australian Constitution, including previous owners, our Bill of Rights, reflecting our values etc.
A referendum could then be held to decide to accept or reject it and/or if we want to be Australian Republic.
Hopefully, following The High Court decision, our politicians will resume serious debate and start running our country sensibly. Maybe then we won’t have to listen to the rubbish now emanating from question time.
I am now at a loss as to my own citizenship, even though I was born in Australia. My father’s parents were born in England. The family moved to Canada when my father was six months old and moved to Australia permanently, when he was 12.
My mother was born in Australia from a Norwegian Father and Australian Mother….. Someone else can worry about it.
Carl Metcalfe, Lakewood.