Australian politicians disqualified from parliament during the national dual citizenship reckoning won’t be made to pay back a single cent of their taxpayer salaries or expenses.
Half a dozen federal MPs in 2017 alone were ensnared by the citizenship crisis – including ex-Deputy MP Barnaby Joyce, Greens senator Larissa Waters and One Nation’s Malcolm Roberts – who were forced to quit cabinet as their dual nationalities were exposed.
Despite the MPs being deemed ‘ineligible’ to have sat in Parliament while holding dual citizenship, their debts to the Government – including their envious salary packages and expenses – will be waived completely.
Half a dozen federal MPs in 2017 alone were ensnared by the citizenship crisis – including ex-Deputy MP Barnaby Joyce, (pictured) Greens senator Larissa Waters and One Nation’s Malcolm Roberts – who were forced to quit cabinet
Greens senator Larissa Waters (pictured) was found to have Canadian citizenship
An alarming number of Australian politicians fell victim to the country’s little-known dual citizenship clause and were urged to resign as the fallout continued.
Nationals MPs Barnaby Joyce and Fiona Nash, Greens Scott Ludlam and Larissa Waters and One Nation’s Malcolm Roberts were all found to be dual citizens in 2017.
Joyce and Ludlam were outed as New Zealand citizens, Walters held Canadian citizenship while Nash and Ludlam were both found to have British citizenship.
Nick Xenophon, Jacqui Lambie, Skye Kakoschke-Moore and David Feeney also stepped down from Parliament because of their dual citizenships.
Only Resources Minister Matt Canavan – who was accused of having Italian citizenship – was eventually cleared by the High Court.
Under Clause 44 of the Constitution, it sets out restrictions on who can be a candidate for Federal parliament.
Nationals MPs Barnaby Joyce and Fiona Nash, (pictured) Greens Scott Ludlam and Larissa Waters and One Nation’s Malcolm Roberts were all found to be dual citizens in 2017
Joyce and Ludlam (pictured) were outed as New Zealand citizens, Walters held Canadian citizenship while Nash and Roberts were both found to have British citizenship
The High Court found Malcolm Roberts (pictured) was a British citizen at the time he nominated for the Senate
It reads: ‘Any person who: Is under any acknowledgement of allegiance, obedience, or adherence to a foreign power, or is a subject or a citizen or entitled to the rights or privileges of a subject or citizen of a foreign power shall be incapable of being chosen or of sitting as a senator or a member of the House of Representatives.’
It can now be revealed not a cent of the politicians’ inflated salaries will be deposited back into the taxpayer purse.
Former Nationals Party Leader and Deputy MP Joyce earned a cushy base salary of $408,032, Walters received $220,934, Roberts earned $199,040, Nash at $343,344 and Ludlam at $199,040.
The parliamentarians were ruled ineligible from the 2 July 2016 Federal election onwards, meaning the wages bill for the MPs alone would have topped a staggering $1million.
Nick Xenophon, Jacqui Lambie, (pictured) Skye Kakoschke-Moore and David Feeney also stepped down from Parliament because of their dual citizenships
Only Resources Minister Matt Canavan (pictured) – who was accused of having Italian citizenship – was eventually cleared by the High Court
Any expenses the MPs may have claimed during their tenure holding dual citizenships will also be waived.
An internal review into the possibility of repaying their taxpayer salaries recommended the debts be waived as the politicians acted in ‘good faith’.
‘[The review found] all parliamentarians performed their duties in good faith for a proper purpose and that it was difficult for individuals at the time of nomination to know that they were ineligible for nomination,’ Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said on Thursday.
‘These debts include salaries, superannuation and electorate allowances, as well as non-salary expenses, such as, staff expenses, office expenses and travel expenses.’
The citizenship scandal is still brewing and the High Court is yet to rule whether Labor senator Katy Gallagher was a dual British citizen.
AUSTRALIA’S DUAL CITIZENSHIP TIMELINE
July 14, 2017
Greens senator Scott Ludlam announces his resignation, revealing he is a New Zealand citizen.
July 18, 2017
Greens senator Larissa Waters also tenders her resignation after discovering she is a citizen of Canada.
July 25, 2017
Liberal National senator Matt Canavan, the Minister for Resources and Northern Australia reveals he is stepping down as he believed he may have held Italian citizenship.
August 14, 2017
Barnaby Joyce reveals he may, in fact, have had New Zealand citizenship at the time he was nominated for Parliament.
August 17, 2017
Deputy Nationals leader Senator Fiona Nash announces that she may be a British citizen and the matter is referred to the High Court.
August 18, 2018
Crossbench senator Nick Xenophon reveals he may be a British overseas citizen.
October 26, 2017
Joyce, Nash, Ludlam, Roberts and Waters are all ruled ineligible for Parliament as they held dual citizenships.
November 14, 2017
Independent senator Jacqui Lambie resigns from the Senate, as she is a British citizen by descent.