Statement on support for the Federal Government
The Federal Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan will maintain her support of the Federal Government ahead of next week’s High Court consideration of six dual-citizenship cases. Those cases include the Deputy Prime Minister, Barnaby Joyce and Regional Development Minister, Senator Fiona Nash.
“On Thursday in the House of Representatives, the member for Denison, Andrew Wilkie spoke on behalf of the member for Mayo, Rebekah Sharkie and I,” Ms McGowan said.
“He said ‘we should pay respect to the High Court and allow it to adjudicate on this matter, and then it will be finalised’. I agree with Mr Wilkie and I will await the decision of the High Court before further commenting on the question of confidence in the Government.
“My primary concern is to support good governance. This is the basis on which I committed to supporting the Government on supply and confidence. However, I appreciate that public confidence in the Parliament and the credibility of this Government has been eroded by the dual citizenship issue.
“It is still my opinion it would be better for Mr Joyce and Senator Nash to stand aside from their cabinet positions until the matter is resolved. Mr Wilkie, Ms Sharkie and I agreed on this on Thursday. Ms Sharkie and I offered this opinion to the Prime Minister last week.”
Ms McGowan said it was time the Government initiated an audit of all parliamentarians’ citizenship status to settle the issue. She has proposed adding a requirement for members to include their citizenship details on the Register of Members’ Interests.
“This proposal may be seen as ‘too little, too late’, but it would be a positive step towards increasing transparency and compelling all members to reveal their citizenship status. It would also go a considerable way to preventing a similar situation arising in the future,” she said.