Dual citizenship farce sweeps through both houses of the Australian parliament

Last month, I wrote about former Australian Greens Senator Scott Ludlam’s resignation from the Parliament, following the revelation that he held dual citizenship of Australia and New Zealand. Since that time, Section 44 of the Constitution of Australia has received unprecedented attention, as the eligibility of a string of additional Australian Senators and Cabinet ministers has been called into question.

Ludlam’s resignation was closely followed by that of Senator Larissa Waters, who had emigrated to Australia from Canada when she was an infant. She was deemed ineligible owing to her dual citizenship of Australia and Canada.

Both claimed to have been previously unaware of their latent citizenship, having emigrated to Australia as children. They also agreed that Section 44 of the Constitution of Australia was unambiguous with respect to citizenship and promptly resigned.

Typically, citizenship is bestowed in two ways. “Jus solis” or the “right of soil” refers to citizenship associated with a person’s place of birth. “Jus sanguinis” or “right of blood” instead bestows citizenship through one’s parentage.

Unlike Ludlam and Waters, the other parliamentarians who have had their eligibility questioned owing to dual citizenship have chosen to dig in. They now await decisions from the High Court of Australia, acting as the Court of Disputed Returns.

A queue forms at the Court of Disputed Returns

  1. National party MP Matt Canavan currently holds Italian citizenship, which he claims was arranged by his mother in 2006 without his knowledge. He resigned from his Cabinet position as Minister for Resources and Northern Australia, but has not resigned from the Parliament.
  2. One Nation Senator Malcolm Roberts gave conflicting accounts of his citizenship, before eventually admitting that he had been both an Australian and British citizen. Roberts was born in India to an Australian father and British mother. He has not resigned from the Parliament.
  3. Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce was confirmed to be a New Zealand citizen by descent through his father’s side. Joyce claimed ignorance of this. He is continuing in his roles as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources until the court has ruled on his case.
  4. National party deputy Fiona Nash was confirmed to be a British citizen by descent through her father, who was born in Scotland. Her parents divorced when she was eight, and she was raised by her Australian born mother. She will continue to serve in Cabinet as the Minister for Regional Development and Minister for Local Government and Territories.

What about the Liberal and Labor parties?

Following the Ludlam resignation, I contacted all Australian parliamentarians born outside of Australia, asking about their citizenship statuses. Those with possible citizenship by parentage were harder to trace, so were not contacted. Some members of both major parties were forthcoming, while others were not, and my list was updated as responses were received.

The Acting National Secretary of the ALP, Paul Erickson, provided me with the following blanket statement:

“The Labor Party works closely with all our candidates to ensure that their nomination is sound and compliant with the constitution. This is a critical part of our nomination processes. We are confident that every member of the Labor caucus has been properly elected.”

No similar statement was received from the Liberal party. Replies containing details of citizenships renounced were received from the offices of MPs Sussan Ley and Ian Goodenough only.

And what of Nick Xenophon?

On 14 July 2017 I wrote to the office of Senator Nick Xenophon, in the hopes that he might champion a whole-of-parliament citizenship audit. I wrote:

“I believe it would be pertinent for a fellow Senator such as yourself to suggest that an audit of citizenship status be conducted as soon as practicable for all members of the Commonwealth Parliament… It would be good to give this issue a good air and treat all parliamentarians fairly, given that one senator has taken a principled stand and resigned over the matter.”

Over  a month later, Xenophon has finally called for such an audit- but he wasn’t the first. That title belongs to Australian Greens leader Richard Di Natale. Regrettably for Nick, his own eligibility has also been called into question. Xenophon has told the ABC that he has contacted the UK Home Office, seeking to clarify whether or not he is a British citizen by descent through his father.

So what happens next?

So two senators have resigned and four (potentially five) cases are currently awaiting hearings at the Court of Disputed Returns. The Turnbull government has expressed its view that the court is likely to rule in favour of deeming the three National party members who claim to have recently discovered their dual citizenship statuses eligible to remain. The matter has been very disruptive for the parliament and many political parties and no doubt personally distressing for those directly embroiled.

Should MPs be disqualified pending the court’s decision, the resulting by-elections could shift the balance of power with implications for the government as it is currently formed.

In a piece written on July 27, commentator John Quiggin suggested that some good could yet come from this farcical scene, but only if the Constitution is upheld in full and without bias. I’m inclined to agree with him. He wrote:

“While the framers (of the Constitution) guarded against the sources of corruption evident to them, they never anticipated the problems we have now. It’s OK for political parties to be in hock to foreign donors, for someone who has renounced his Australian citizenship to control most of our media, and for careerist politicians to start out as hack staffers, give out favors in office, and cash them out afterwards. But if you don’t do the paperwork to cancel potential citizenship in a country you’ve never seen, you’re out on your ear.

At this point, the situation is so bad that “worse is better”. The best outcome would be for another dozen or two members of Parliament, from all parties, to be thrown out. Then we might get the unanimous support we would need to fix the absurdities of Section 44. Of course, that wouldn’t do anything about the real problems, but at least we would be free of this anti-democratic nonsense.”

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List of art galleries in South Australia

This list of art galleries which publicly exhibit works in South Australia has been compiled to benefit artists and art lovers in their pursuit of their passion. It was first compiled in August 2017, and contains a mixed bag of commercial, institutional, regional and artist-run art galleries. The list is not exhaustive, and contributions of galleries not yet listed are invited via Facebook comments. This list will be updated periodically.

Last updated: 9 August 2017

Gallery Town/City Address Phone
ACE OPEN Adelaide Lion Arts Centre, North Tce (08) 8211 7505
Adelaide Central Gallery Adelaide 7 Mulberry Road, Glenside (08) 8299 7300
Art Gallery of South Australia Adelaide North Terrace (08) 8207 7000
ArtImages Gallery Adelaide 32 The Parade, Norwood (08) 8363 0806
Artspace Gallery Adelaide Adelaide Festival Centre, Festival Drive, Adelaide
BMG Art Adelaide 444 South Road, Marleston (08) 8297 2440
Brick+Mortar Creative Adelaide 49 George St, Norwood 0452 140 849
FELTspace Adelaide 12 Compton Street
Flinders University City Gallery Adelaide State Library of South Australia, North Terrace (08) 8201 2695
Gallery 1855 Adelaide 2 Haines Road, Tea Tree Gully (08) 8397 7444
Gallery M Adelaide 287 Diagonal Road, Oaklands Park (08) 8377 2904
Glenelg Art & Gift Gallery Adelaide Ground Floor, Stamford Grand Hotel, Moseley Square, Glenelg 0410 481 237
Greenaway Art Gallery Adelaide 39 Rundle Street, Kent Town (08) 8362 6354
Henley & Grange Art Society Adelaide Atkin Street, Henley Beach (08) 8353 3710
Hill Smith Gallery Adelaide 113 Pirie Street (08) 8223 6558
Hughes Gallery Adelaide Fullarton Park Community Centre, 411 Fullarton Road, Fullarton (08) 8372 5180
Hugo Michell Gallery Adelaide 260 Portrush Road, Beulah Park (08) 8331 8000
Jam Factory Adelaide 19 Morphett Street (08) 8410 0727
Pepper Street Arts Centre Adelaide 558 Magill Rd, Magill (08) 8364 6154
Prospect Gallery Adelaide 1 Thomas St, Nailsworth (08) 8342 8175
Royal South Australian Society of Arts Adelaide Cnr North Terrace & Kintore Avenue, Adelaide (08) 8232 0450
South Australian School of Art (SASA) Gallery Adelaide K3-27 Kaurna Building, City West Campus, University of South Australia, North Tce (08) 8302 6611
Tandanya Adelaide 253 Grenfell Street (08) 8224 3211
Urban Cow Studio Adelaide Shop 6, 10 Vaughan Place
Blue Crab Studio Ardrossan 16 North Terrace, Ardrossan
Balaklava Courthouse Gallery Balaklava 6 Edith Tce, Balaklava (08) 8862 1688
Jam Factory at Seppeltsfield Barossa Valley 730 Seppeltsfield Road, Seppeltsfield, Barossa Valley
Walkway Gallery Bordertown 43 Woolshed Street, Bordertown (08) 8752 1044
Burra Regional Art Gallery Burra 5-6 Market Street, Burra (08) 8892 2411
Arts Ceduna Ceduna 2 Eyre Highway, Ceduna (08) 8625 2487
Artworx Gallery Goolwa 12 Hays St, Goolwa (08) 8555 0949
Signal Point Gallery Goolwa The Wharf, Goolwa (08) 8555 7289
South Coast Regional Art Centre Goolwa 1 Goolwa Terrace, Goolwa (08) 8555 7000
Hahndorf Academy Hahndorf 68 Main Street, Hahndorf (08) 8388 7250
Belalie Art Gallery Jamestown 6 Irvine Street, Jamestown (08) 8664 0455
Kapunda Community Gallery Kapunda 67-69 Main Street, Kapunda
Millicent Art Gallery Millicent Civic Centre, Ridge Terrace, Millicent (08) 8733 0903
Moonta Gallery of the Arts Moonta Moonta Town hall, George Street, Moonta (08) 8825 1378
Mount Dutton Bay Woolshed Mount Dutton Bay 1 Woolshed Drive, Mount Dutton Bay (08) 8685 4031
Riddoch Art Gallery Mount Gambier 1 Bay Rd, Mt Gambier (08) 8723 9566
Murray Bridge Regional Gallery Murray Bridge 27 Sixth Street, Murray Bridge (08) 8539 1420
Naracoorte Regional Art Gallery Naracoorte 91 Ormerod Street, Naracoorte (08) 8762 3390
Gallery Yampu Port Adelaide 1 Jenkins St, Birkenhead
Yarta Purtli Port Augusta Cultural Centre Gallery Port Augusta 6 Beauchamp Lane, Port Augusta (08) 8641 9176
Palate 2 palette Port Broughton 6 Bay St, Port Broughton (08) 8635 2553
Nautilus Arts Centre Port Lincoln 66 Tasman Terrace, Port Lincoln (08) 8621 2351
The Arts Centre Port Noarlunga 22 Gawler Street, Port Noarlunga (08) 8326 5577
Port Pirie Regional Art Gallery Port Pirie 3 Mary Elie Street, Port Pirie (08) 8633 0681
McCormick Centre for the Environment Renmark Ral Ral Avenue, Renmark (08) 8586 4777
Roxbylink Art Gallery Roxby Downs 1-15 Richardson Place, Roxby Downs (08) 8671 0500
Coorong Art Gallery Tailem Bend 95-101 Railway Terrace, Tailem Bend 1300 785 277
Barossa Regional Gallery Tanunda 3 Basedow Rd, Tanunda (08) 8563 0849
Victor Harbor Regional Gallery Victor Harbor 7A Railway Terrace, Victor Harbor (08) 8552 1316
Off the Slate Gallery Willunga 36 High Street, Willunga (08) 8556 2363
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List of Friend ID codes for Sumikko Gurashi: Our Puzzling Ways

This may come as news to some of you, but I have a soft spot for cute Japanese cartoon characters. Combine that hook with the appeal of an advanced colour-matching puzzle game, and you have Sumikko Gurashi: Our Puzzling Ways. The game is available for Android and Apple mobile devices, and despite a few fuzzy translations from Japanese, it’s utterly adorable and dangerously addictive.

Some user reviews of the game on the Google Play store have commented that the game’s difficulty ramping is too steep. While I agree in so much that the game does get tough, this causes the player to carefully consider which character to play as, and to experiment often, enriching the experience. Each has its own special skill, and its potency can be upgraded with various accessories that add “happiness” and increase your scoring potential. Coins won within the game can be fed into a lucky dip machine, which randomly spits out upgrades for your existing characters, and unlocks new ones.

Players are limited by how many times they can play the game in quick succession by the number of rice balls they are allocated. These replenish with the passing of time, but there is another way to receive more rice balls, and therefore play the game more frequently. To do this, you can either invite friends to join the game within the app, via Facebook or email, or you can add friend codes for existing players manually.

A number of the game’s reviewers on the Google Play store have listed their player IDs and encouraged other players to connect with them. As of 25 July 2016, I have scraped the complete set of these,  and they are now listed in the table below. If you’d like your Friend ID to be added to this list, please leave a Facebook comment below, or send me an email.

Sumikko Gurashi – Our Puzzling Ways
Friend IDs
t7a5ti kia49v
ivs8xi dim0ug
51x54l 9l8feg
ed8rax w3yax7
ln4k4a ci12g4
eyvicy frwzwx
4tco59 3ebvur
s83gbr ts89vs
urqgfx z1uv4w
7mzm2y

As you increase the number of friends you are connected with in Sumikko Gurashi – Our Puzzling Ways, not only are you able to progress through the game more quickly, but you can also see where other players are up to on the map, and recognize them by their avatars and handles. Your friends’ high scores for each level are also displayed at the foot of the screen when you select a level to play. There are also several ‘holes’ in the map, which can be filled and passed by using flowers. A flower is awarded to you each time you interact with a friend, by either sending or receiving rice balls. Using flowers to pass holes will save you precious coins, which you can use to buy items to help with various levels, or feed into the lucky dip machine for character upgrades.

So while Sumikko Gurashi is a satisfying single player game, its enjoyment can be boosted substantially by connecting with others. Special thanks are due to all the players who have listed their friend IDs on the Play store.

If you haven’t already, I encourage you to check out Sumikko Gurashi – Our Puzzling Ways… it could quite possibly be the cutest colour- matching game you’ll ever play.

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