Economy

Malcolm Turnbull rejects calls for citizenship audit

The environment and energy minister told Fairfax Media his grandparents and mother were stateless refugees when they arrived in Australia, in response to a report in The Australian he may have Hungarian citizenship by descent.

Mr Turnbull rejected growing calls for an audit of all MPs' citizenship status, saying: "we are nation governed by the rule of law", and insisted the High Court was the appropriate avenue for airing such allegations.

"Has this witch hunt become so absurd that people are seriously claiming that Josh Frydenberg is the citizen of a country which has stripped his mother and her family of their citizenship and would have pushed them into the gas chambers had it not been that the war was ended before they had time to do so?" "It must be accountable to the people through the parliament", Mr Shorten said. It must be sufficiently robust to give all Australians confidence in the process.

On Thursday, The Australian reported that Frydenberg had sought urgent advice regarding the possibility he could hold citizenship from his mother who was born in Hungary but fled Europe to escape the Holocaust.

Turnbull, who has just returned from Israel, sounded emotional as he hit back strongly against any suggestion Frydenberg could be Hungarian.

He said it was neither rational nor humane that Hungary could purport to make his mother a citizen against her will after rendering her stateless.

"Let them do that".

"If there was a proposal from the government, we'd look at it", she said.

"There is an established process here".

'The only body in our constitution that can determine whether somebody is eligible to sit in Parliament or not is the High Court of Australia.

"It's time we returned to the land of common sense".

As Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg was forced to defend his citizenship after questions were raised about his family's journey from post-Holocaust Europe, politicians said the saga has become a witch-hunt.

Calls for an audit of all parliamentary members have grown this week following the resignation of Senate President Stephen Parry. This "cover-up" was alarming.

The communications minister, Mitch Fifield, has since admitted he knew about Parry's concerns weeks before he publicly raised them.

Parry has indicated he spoke to various colleagues, and the feeling was he should not do anything before the High Court decisions on the multiple cases before it, which came last week.

Getty Images Ex-Deputy PM Barnaby Joyce was found to have dual citizenship with New Zealand. "It is not consistent with our values or our principles", Mr Turnbull said.

The Minister said that he had carried out his own investigation at the outset of the dual citizenship crisis that has plagued Canberra for the past few months and "was satisfied very quickly" that he was not a citizen of another country. Read the original article.



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