Published: Sun, July 16, 2017
Markets | By Erika Turner

Australian Senator Forced To Quit After Discovering He's A Kiwi

Australian Senator Forced To Quit After Discovering He's A Kiwi

The Greens senator on Friday resigned from federal parliament after discovering he still holds New Zealand citizenship.

Explaining why the request would have been rejected, Mr Ludlam's office said a Freedom of Information laws only apply to ministers or departments, not to individual senators.

Born in in Palmerston North in New Zealand, Ludlam moved to Perth, Australia, when was 3 years old.

'It's going to be millions of dollars and my total assets amount to a fast computer and some nice shoes, ' he told the ABC.

Ludlam faced a legal challenge for his mistake and today fell on his sword, apologising for his mistake.

He wrote, "This was my error, something I should have checked when I first nominated for preselection in 2006".

I sent the certificate to the clerk of the Senate, however out of a courtesy a few days ago I provided Senator Ludlam with a copy of the certificate.

The deputy leader of an Australian political party has announced he is ending his nine-year career in Parliament because he has discovered he has technically never been a senator.

The highly regarded barrister obtained proof Senator Ludlam still holds New Zealand citizenship and is ineligible for politics in Australia. He became a naturalised Australian as a teenager.

"I am hoping common sense prevails".

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Senator Ludlam can either repay the money, or apply to Special Minister of State Scott Ryan to have it waived.

A spokesperson for the Greens told The New Daily that party leader Richard Di Natale was away on leave and unable to comment on Mr Ludlam's resignation.

'Scott has been an outstanding member of the parliament and of the Greens, ' he said in a statement.

"He has been a strong representative for the people of WA and the nation on a range of issues".

The Senate is expected to refer the matter to the Court of Disputed Returns, which the Greens think will call for a countback of votes from the 2016 election.

Steele-John gave up his own British citizenship to first run for the seat of Fremantle as an 18-year-old, the Guardian Express reported last year. He is the third member of the 2016 Senate to have had their election ruled ineligible, after Bob Day and Rod Culleton were barred a year ago.

The dual citizenship means under the Australian constitution he can not legally be a member of the Australian Parliament.

On Friday, Mr Ludlam quit after accepting he had been ineligible to be a senator since his election in 2008.

The Senate and the Department of Finance had pursued former South Australian Family First senator Bob Day and former West Australian One Nation senator Rod Culleton for repayment of salaries and allowances.

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