News Worms
News Worms

Greens co-deputy Scott Ludlam resigns

Greens co-deputy Scott Ludlam resigns

Under Section 44 of the Australian constitution I am therefore ineligible to hold elected office in the Federal Parliament.

Mr Ludlam said he could not afford to pay back the money, but was confident it would not get to that point.

"I was born in Palmerston North New Zealand, left the country with my family when I was three years old, and settled in Australia not long before my ninth birthday".

He has vowed to fight any such move, saying that his current assets "amount to a fast computer and a nice pair of shoes".

In a post on Twitter, Ludlam said he was "personally devastated" when he learned about the "avoidable oversight" and apologized "unreservedly" to his constituents for his mistake.

Dr John Cameron, a barrister at Francis Burt Chambers, said he applied three weeks ago to the New Zealand Department of Internal Affairs to search its register of citizens.

The deputy leader of an Australian political party announced Friday that he was ending his nine-year career in Parliament because he had discovered he had technically never been a senator. In order to run for election a candidate must be registered, be on the electoral roll and be a New Zealand citizen.

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

"I was naturalised [to Australia] in my mid-teens".

'It is entirely my responsibility - it wasn't the way I was hoping to go out'.

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's decision today to deal with this issue directly and immediately shows his absolute integrity and character", 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.

22-year-old university student and disability advocate Jordon Steele-John, who himself renounced British citizenship when he entered politics at the age of 18, has been touted as a possible replacement for Ludlam. He says he intends to follow former senators Bob Day and Rod Culleton in seeking an exemption from repayment from the Special Minister of State.

"I did this as a citizen, not as a lawyer, with a keen interest in the Constitution", Dr Cameron told the newspaper.

The Australian High Court ruled that Senators Bob Day and Rod Culleton were ineligible for their jobs since a federal election previous year.


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