Today I have referred a number of matters relating to citizenship and the operation of section 44 of the Constitution to the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters (JSCEM) and released the terms of reference.
Australia is the most successful multicultural society in the world and around a half of our citizens were either born overseas or have a parent born overseas. These Australians may be citizens of another country and, as we have seen with several Members and Senators, not be aware of it.
I have asked the JSCEM to examine how our electoral laws can be improved to minimise the risk of candidates being found to be ineligible in the future and what, if any, changes should be made to section 44(i) of the constitution.
JSCEM is also being asked to review the operation of section 44 of the constitution as a whole, as other provisions have raised questions regarding eligibility.
Australians expect us to resolve the citizenship issue once and for all. The government has already acted to resolve the citizenship issues affecting the current Parliament. This inquiry will help us ensure similar issues do not affect future Parliaments.
More information and the terms of reference can be found at: https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Joint/Electoral_Matters/Inquiry_into_matters_relating_to_Section_44_of_the_Constitution