What I did on my trip to Europe. By Malcolm, Class 1E
Darkest Hour

Ludlam - a private citizen did what the Parliament, media and political parties failed to do for ten years

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How could Scott Ludlum have lingered for just on ten years?

It's not like the issue of overseas born politicians was a secret.

Tony Abbott's 1993 revocation of his British citizenship is still being examined today.

It's recurred as an issue every few years - here's a particularly intense and innuendo laden example.

In August 2011 Craig Thomson, who like Ludlam was born in New Zealand was the focus of attention.

 

  Screen Shot 2017-07-15 at 10.17.33 amLiberal Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells says Mr Thomson and fellow MP Darren Cheeseman were recently sent letters questioning their eligibility because they might not have revoked their New Zealand citizenship.

Labor sources say they have checked that Mr Thomson is no longer a New Zealander.

Mr Cheeseman insists he is eligible and says the letter was from a law firm he had never heard of.

Senator Fierravanti-Wells will not say why she is raising the citizenship question.

"I just simply ... understand that certain correspondence was sent and I'm just asking the question, 'Is this an important matter that needs to be clarified?'," she said.

"I understand Mr Thomson and another ALP member have been sent correspondence giving them 21 days to respond.”

ENDS

At the same time as Thomson was in focus, The Australian Protectionist Party published a list of overseas-born politicians with a call for background enquiries.

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Prime Minister Julia Gillard was born in Wales and it is unknown if she formally renounced her British nationality before being elected to Parliament........

....... investigate as to whether any current members of the Australian parliament are currently holding, or were elected whilst holding, citizenship for any country other than Australia.

  

Here are the names of the federal politicians listed as being born overseas:

In the House of Representatives:

Tony Abbott, Liberal Party (born in London, England)

Bob Baldwin, Liberal Party (born in Gloucester, England)

Darren Cheeseman, Labor Party (born in Christchurch, New Zealand)

Paul Fletcher, Liberal Party (born in Devizes, Wiltshire, England)

Joanna Gash, Liberal Party (born in Groningen, Netherlands)

Julia Gillard, Labor Party (born in Barry, Wales)

Gary Gray, Labor Party (born in Rotherham, Yorkshire, England)

Dennis Jensen, Liberal Party (born in Johannesburg, South Africa)

Sussan Ley, Liberal Party (born in Kano, Nigeria)

Brendan O’Connor, Labor Party (born in London, England)

Bernie Ripoll, Labor Party (born in Pézenas, France)

Laura Smyth, Labor Party (born in Belfast, Northern Ireland)

Alex Somlyay, Liberal Party (born in Budapest, Hungary)

Craig Thomson, Labor Party (born in Wellington, New Zealand)

Maria Vamvakinou, Labor Party (born in Lefkada, Greece)

Tony Zappia, Labor Party (born in Platì, Reggio Calabria, Calabria, Italy)

 

In the Senate:

 

Eric Abetz, Liberal Party (born in Stuttgart, West Germany)

Judith Adams, Liberal Party (born in Picton, New Zealand)

Doug Cameron, Labor Party (born in Bellshill, Scotland)

Stephen Conroy, Labor Party (born in Ely, Cambridgeshire, England)

Mathias Cormann, Liberal Party (born in Eupen, Belgium)

Chris Evans, Labor Party (born in Cuckfield, England)

Alex Gallacher, Labor Party (born in New Cumnock, Scotland)

Scott Ludlam, Greens Party (born in Palmerston North, New Zealand)

Nigel Scullion, Country Liberal Party (born in London, England)

Nick Sherry, Labor Party (born in Kingston-on-Thames, England)

Ursula Stephens, Labor Party (born in Wicklow, Republic of Ireland)

Larissa Waters, Greens Party (born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada)

Penny Ying-yen Wong, Labor Party (born in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia)

ENDS

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Ludlam must have known.  His party should have known.  His background should have been checked - but neither the Parliament, his party nor the fourth estate ever bothered.

For ten years Scott was safely in the embrace of the mainstream media.

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A private citizen changed all that.

Senator Scott Ludlam’s whistleblower revealed as WA barrister

The man who exposed Senator Scott Ludlam’s Kiwi citizenship, resulting in his shock resignation today, is Perth barrister, Dr John Cameron.

The experienced barrister is single-handedly responsible for obtaining the proof that Senator Ludlam still holds New Zealand citizenship and is ineligible for politics.

Mr Cameron is understood to have obtained documents that are not publicly available from New Zealand authorities proving Senator Ludlam has dual citizenship — which bars him from holding a Senate seat under Section 44 of the Australian constitution.

The barrister at Francis Burt Chambers contacted Senator Ludlam’s office last week “as a courtesy” to let them know he was sending proof of the Greens politician’s New Zealand citizenship to the Clerk of the Senate.

It then took Senator Ludlam’s office several days to contact the High Commission in New Zealand and verify the information was correct.

There are lessons in this matter for us all.

And there's inspiration.

What we do here is important.

For 10 years, the evidence in the Ludlam matter was sitting in a file, waiting for someone to check.

Every touch leaves its trace.

 

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