March 20, 2018

Greens co-deputy Scott Ludlam resigns

15 July 2017, 11:13 | Taylor George

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Greens senator Scott Ludlam

"Recently it was brought to my attention that I hold dual citizenship of Australia and New Zealand", Senator Ludlam said today.

The party's co-deputy leader said it was recently brought to his attention that he holds dual citizenship of Australia and New Zealand, making him ineligible.

Cameron says he was checking into the eligibility of Ludlam as well as fellow Senator Derryn Hinch when he made the discovery.

"It took a couple of days to confirm with the New Zealand High Commission that was the case". I have no wish to draw out the uncertainty or create a lengthy legal dispute, particularly when the Constitutions is so clear.

Mr Ludlam grew up in Palmerston North and left New Zealand when he was three.

Holding citizenship in New Zealand as well as Australia, under Section 44 of the Australian constitution, the former communications spokesman is forbidden to hold elected office in the federal Parliament.

Mr Ludlam, the Greens deputy leader, has stood down from the Senate after he was told he had not renounced his New Zealand citizenship, meaning he was ineligible to be a candidate for parliament.

He has vowed to fight any such move, saying that his current assets "amount to a fast computer and a nice pair of shoes". He said he believed he automatically lost his NZ citizenship when he became an Australian in his teens.

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Greens leader Richard Di Natale said he was devastated at the news, but Senator Ludlam's decision to deal with the issue directly and immediately showed his integrity and character.

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

'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.

Senator Ludlam is the fourth senator to leave the upper house this parliamentary term.

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

Mr Ludlam's position will be filed by a recount of ballot papers from the 2016 election, leading to the possible election of 22-year-old Jordan Steel-John who was third on the Greens Senate ticket.

University student Jordon Steele-John has been touted the frontrunner to take the vacant seat.

In January, the High Court ruled that former One Nation senator for Western Australia Rod Culleton's election to parliament was invalid because he had been charged with stealing a $7.50 truck key.

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