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Citizenship bill unworkable: Greens

Media Release
Scott Ludlam 4 Sep 2015

The Australians Greens have condemned the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security’s (PJCIS) report on the Australian Citizenship Amendment (Allegiance to Australia) Bill 2015.

Greens Deputy Leader Senator Scott Ludlam said that the committee ignored expert evidence and shirked its responsibilities by continuing to support key planks of the Government’s unworkable citizenship laws.

“Despite making 27 recommendations, that offer slight improvements of the original Bill, the framework of this irreparably flawed Bill remains intact,” Senator Ludlam said.

“We have seen today that the Labor Party has once again capitulated to the Government’s populist fear mongering under the banner of ‘bipartisanship’.

“The right to citizenship is a fundamental democratic right. This law – even with the changes proposed by the PJCIS – undermines the right to citizenship by setting up an opaque and complex administrative system for the removal of citizenship. And this can happen even where a person has not been found guilty of any offence.

“These recommendations clearly show that neither Labor nor the government is serious about the fundamental threat this bill poses to the rights of Australian citizens.

“Even with the proposed changes, the bill would still allow someone to be exiled from Australia without any court finding that they have actually committed a terrorist-related offence. It would still rely on the entirely untested legal fiction of ‘automatic’ renunciation of citizenship, albeit with a different process for notification if the PJCIS recommendations are adopted.

“Despite the changes there are still serious concerns that this bill could be unconstitutional.

“The Australian Greens will not support this Government to push through such a fundamentally flawed and ill-conceived law.”

Media Contact – Andrew Blyberg 0457 901 600

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