Scott Ludlum told reporters he was not going to “dig his heels in”. (Photo: ABC News: James Carmody).
Resigned as, bro
It is disappointing that Senator Ludlam, who was raised in Australia, holds dual Australian and New Zealand citizenship.
Politics aside, Senator Ludlam has represented Australia with fervour. He has had to resign due to a genuine oversight that could (given this great immigrant nation) catch out any non-Australian born politician from across the political spectrum.
“Scott’s decision to resign shows his absolute integrity. The Senate will be poorer without him” Richard Di Natale.
Oz Kiwi want to remind people that unless you intend to become a politician, or gain employment in certain Federal government roles, you can retain your New Zealand citizenship when you become an Australian citizen.
Greens Senator Scott Ludlam resigns over failure to renounce dual citizenship
14 July 2017
Jessica Strutt and Jacob Kagi – ABC News
Deputy Greens leader Scott Ludlam is stepping down from Federal Parliament, after admitting he has been ineligible to sit in the Senate for his whole tenure because he holds dual citizenship.
Mr Ludlam admitted his election was invalid because he did not renounce his New Zealand citizenship, which the WA Senator said he only discovered he had a week ago.
Section 44 of the constitution disqualifies potential candidates from election to the Parliament of Australia if they hold dual or plural citizenship.
Prior to his announcement, Mr Ludlam had become one of the Greens’ most prominent senators after first being elected at the 2007 federal election.
His admission about his New Zealand citizenship opened the possibility that the Commonwealth could pursue him to pay back years in salary and allowances, but Mr Ludlam said he was confident that would not eventuate.
Mr Ludlam’s Senate position is expected to be filled by a recount of ballot papers from the 2016 election.
That would likely lead to the election of 22-year-old Jordon Steele-John who was third on the Greens Senate ticket.
Mr Ludlam’s resignation comes after a period of turmoil for the Greens, in which New South Wales senator Lee Rhiannon was excluded from the partyroom over a dispute about the Government’s school funding legislation.
Ludlam admits responsibility, unreservedly apologises
Mr Ludlam has apologised unreservedly for what he said was his mistake and a “ridiculous oversight”.
“This is my error, something I should have checked when I first nominated for pre-selection in 2006,” he said.
“It never occurred to me as someone who left the country [New Zealand] as a three-year-old, [as someone who] has never really considered it home.
Who is Scott Ludlam?
Scott Ludlam built a reputation as an outspoken fighter for online privacy rights, national security and environmental causes.
“This town is home. I have been here since 1978. It never crossed my mind that citizenship might be something that sticks to you in that way.”
Mr Ludlam said he had decided against fighting to stay on.
“I could have dug my heels in. But it creates a messy and protracted dispute. That section of the constitution is crystal clear and it has been tested before by others,” he said.
“It is not something that I particularly want to put myself, my staff or my party through. This is probably a cleaner way to just make a break.
Mr Ludlam said the situation was brought to their attention a week ago while he was overseas by someone who had “done the digging, for whatever reason”.
ABC election analyst Antony Greens explains what Scott Ludlam’s resignation means for the Senate and how his replacement will be chosen.
The subsequent countbacks resulted in the next person on their parties’ Senate tickets being elected, which is most likely what the Greens will be hoping happens in this latest situation involving Mr Ludlam.
Assuming a countback results in the third Greens Senate candidate being elected, that would see Jordon Steele-John fill the vacancy.
But Mr Steele-John, a 22-year-old who has cerebral palsy, left the door open to not accepting the position.
“If it comes down to it, I’d be happier putting the choice of candidate back into the hands of our party membership,” he said.
“But like everyone else in the party I’m going to be spending the next week in sad shock.”
[Read the ABC article].