Friday, 21 July, 2017

Whistleblower Who Exposed Scott Ludlam Revealed As Perth Barrister

WA Greens politician Scott Ludlam moved from New Zealand to Australia when he was three WA Greens politician Scott Ludlam left New Zealand with his family when he was three
Preston Stone | 16 July, 2017, 00:34

Dual citizens are banned from holding office in the federal parliament under the Australian Constitution.

Senator Ludlam said he didn't have the money to pay back his salaries and allowances.

Of course, as a number of people on social media have pointed out, Ludlam is not the only Australian politician who was born in another country.

"I apologise unreservedly for this mistake", he said in a statement Friday.

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

"(I) assumed that was the end of my New Zealand citizenship", he said.

When asked if Mr Ludlam will have to pay back his salary from when he was first elected to the Senate, Mr Turnbull did not rule it out, saying the decision would be left to Finance Minister Mathias Cormann.

Instead of going through protracted legal proceedings, he is resigning as a senator for Western Australia and co-deputy leader of the Australian Greens. He became a naturalised Australian as a teenager.

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

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'It is still settling in a little bit, it has been an incredible run and I have enjoyed every minute of it and I think probably when it all goes quiet or when they ring the bells on my colleagues in August and I'm not there it is going to settle in, ' he said.

Mr Ludlam's spokesperson also declined to comment.

Greens leader Richard Di Natale said he was "devastated" by the news.

The ABC's election analyst Antony Green said he thought it was unlikely Mr Ludlam's salary would be clawed back.

"He will continue to be a champion of the Greens movement and a dear friend".

Disability rights advocate Jordon Steele-John, 22, was the third Greens candidate on the ballot paper at last year's Federal election and is expected to be Mr Ludlam's successor. 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.

In October, Mr Day resigned as a Family First senator for South Australia after it emerged the former company director's building company had gone bust, making him a bankrupt and therefore ineligible to be in parliament.

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

Speaking to The Weekend Australian, Cameron insisted that he was not politically motivated, and that he merely acted as "a citizen" with a "keen interest" in the workings of the Australian Constitution.

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