Australian Govt loses majority after court ruling

Oct 30, 2017, 02:01
Australian Govt loses majority after court ruling

Joyce gave the Coalition government its one seat majority in the house.

Barnaby Joyce has apologised to his constituents in New England and pledged to continue to serve them after his election to the Federal Parliament was found invalid by the High Court of Australia on Friday.

Here's what he said to the media in his home town of Tamworth, directly after the High Court decision.

"Now I am going to make sure that I don't cry in my beer, I will get back at work and work hard for the people in my electorate, the electorate of New England, and make sure I do the best job for my nation".

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Voters will go to the polls in his seat of New England on December 2.

The other four politicians - Fiona Nash, Malcolm Roberts, Larissa Waters and Scott Ludlam - had been elected to the Senate.

The seven judges rejected the government's argument that five of the lawmakers, including three government lawmakers, should be exempt from the ban because they had not voluntarily acquired or retained citizenship of another country.

The former Deputy Prime Minister has told The Australian if he wins the by-election, he will lobby for a referendum to be held on changing the Constitution to simplify the eligibility requirements for MPs regarding citizenship.

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The disqualified senators will be replaced by members of their own party without an election, meaning the balance of power will only be affected by Mr. Joyce's situation.

Mr Joyce admitted the ruling did not come as a complete shock.

The two senators allowed to stay in parliament were Matt Canavan, who the court heard might have inherited Italian citizenship from his Australian-born mother through Italian grandparents; and Nick Xenophon, who was born to Cypriot and Greek parents and had checked with both embassies to ensure he wasn't a citizen of those countries.

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