Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Disclaimer: The Parliamentary Library does not warrant the accuracy of closed captions. These are derived automatically from the broadcaster's signal.
ABC News 24 2pm News -

View in ParlView

(generated from captions) grow.

We will take you live to Sydney where Greens leader Richard Di Natale is about to speak.

Let me start by saying I am gutted by today's announcement coming just a few days after Scott's announcement. Larissa has been an incredible representative for the people of Queensland and indeed for the nation. She has been a wonderful Deputy and her departure is deeply saddening. It is unprecedented to have the resignation of two such outstanding people from this parliament, two leaders of such integrity, such honesty, two people who have done the Greens and indeed this nation proud. This was an innocent mistake. Larissa acted quickly as soon as he knew about it and she has paid a high price for this. She has had to lose a job that she deeply loves because she is so committed to the things that we are all committed to. To tackling dangerous climate change, she has been an advocate for the environment. She has been a force of nature when it comes to her campaign against the polluting Adani coal mine. She has been a role model for women and mothers right across the country and we have seen that only in recent weeks in the Australian parliament. She has been a role model when it comes to taking a stand against the vested interests who corrupt our democracy. She has represented the people of Queensland with passion, with commitment, with dedication and it is with great sadness that we lose an outstanding member of parliament and that I lose a dear friend. I am sad to see Larissa go but I know she will be back. Whether it be inside or outside the parliament, she has got a lot of unfinished business and I know we haven't seen the last of Larissa Waters. Let me just say that the last few weeks have shown that we need to improve the way we manage our party processes. When I joined this party almost 20 years ago, we were a small organisation. We ran on the smell of an oily rag. We have grown to a party that represents over a million voters who voted Greens at the last election, tens of thousands of members, supporters who have given blood, sweat and tears for this party. I know today many will be frustrated, I share your frustration. I have immediately spoken to our two national co-conveners and we are committed to a thorough root and branch review so that we strengthen our governance, improve our internal processes and we make sure that this never happens again. We are a party that is committed to making sure that we take on vested interests in the parliament, that we ensure that we stop that Adani mine, that we get rid of those people languishing in offshore detention centres and bring them here. That we end political donations, that we make sure that we start tackling inequality and give young kids and opportunity to buy their first home. We are absolutely committed to making sure that, as a result of what has just happened, we strengthen our internal party processes and come out of this bigger and stronger and better and we can be a voice for those many thousands of Australians who desperately want us to succeed. Happy to take questions. REPORTER: Are there any other members of the parliamentary party or future candidates who have been worn overseas?No, I don't believe so. In the light of this, we have ensured that we check and double-check that everybody else is not in this situation and the last thing I want to be doing is standing here again with another announcement.Do you see this as a failure of the Greens vetting processes?There is no question here - I won't sugar coat it, we need to make sure that our internal party processes are up to the challenge. We have grown from the very small organisations to the third major political force in Australian parliament. We have to improve our governance. We have to strengthen our internal processes and we have to make sure that this doesn't happen again.Two senators have now gone down as a result of links to countries that they don't really have anymore. Do you think the rules are fair and is there room to relax them so that this sort of thing doesn't happen again?Let me just say a few things about that. The world today is different to the world that was conceived - to the world that was there when the provision in the constitution was conceived. People travel a lot. We have got many Australians who were born overseas, indeed many born to foreign nationals. I don't want to make any excuses about what happened. We had two individuals who made a mistake. It was a stuff-up. There is absolutely no other way of describing it. We had our internal party processes who failed to pick this up. We need to make sure that we are up to the challenge of representing those many millions of people who count on us and that is what we are going to do. We are now going to conduct a thorough root and branch review of our internal processes so that we come out of this stronger and better and make sure we continue fighting for all those things that we know people want us to fight on.Senators Whish-Wilson and McKim were both born overseas. Have they had their status double-checked?Yes, they have and I am assured they are fine. When did you first become aware of Senator Waters' issue?On Friday night.You heard about Scott Ludlam's issue a couple of days before -Yes.Did you find out at the same time -No, on the back of Senator Ludlam, everybody was encouraged to check their status. Senators Waters, who is diligent, she has explained her personal circumstances. When it became aware that it wasn't as she understood them, we immediately took action to verify her own circumstances and then we became aware that in fact she was a dual national.She only found out herself on Friday when she started to look into it?That is my understanding, yes. (INAUDIBLE QUESTION) That will be a question for Larissa. As far as I am concerned, I would welcome her back to the parliament with open arms. She is an incredible person. She is somebody who has represented the people of Queensland with such passion. She has made such an enormous contribution to the Australian parliament. She is a passionate warrior for the environment. Her history as an environmental lawyer and then in the parliament as the voice for the environment in the Australian parliament is something we will desperately miss and from my perspective, and I am sure I am speaking on behalf of every single member and supporter of the Greens, we hope she comes back.Is Andrew Barr just an understudy then? Ultimately it is a question for Larissa to decide what her future holds. I know Senator Bartlett will make a great contribution. He has history and experience in the Senate. He is somebody who has shown a great commitment to the Greens over many years and we welcome the contribution that Andrew Bartlett will make if indeed it does turn out as we expect and that on the basis of a countback he becomes the next Senator for Queensland.Do you think an exclusive allegiance to Australia is necessary for a Senator?I just want to say we don't want to make excuses for what happened. That is something that I think in time people will look at, the circumstances of surrounding Larissa are clear. Born to Australian parents, somebody who was 11 months old when she came to the country. We all know the rules as they stand and we had two individuals who made an oversight and are paying for it. They are paying a high price for it. We had our internal processes who didn't pick this up. That is for us, it is importantly to acknowledge. The challenge has been laid down to us in the Greens. We have to work together to make sure we strengthen our governance to improve our internal party processes to make sure this doesn't happen again. We have a responsibility here. My responsibility is to those people who have entrusted us to fight on about.
all the things that we all care about. That is front and foremost for me. The responsibility that I take as the leader of the Australian Greens and they can rest assured that we are taking immediate action to make sure that we do not face these circumstances again and that indeed we are a party that is stronger and better because of the challenges we have recently had to face.Recently, you have had infighting with Lee Rhiannon and now you have lost two of your more high profile senators. How difficult has this month been for the party and yourself as leader?It has been a terrible month, there is no other way of sugar coating it. To lose two people like Scott Ludlam and Senator Larissa Waters, these are two of the most outstanding people, not just in the parliament but I would say in politics anywhere in the country. They are people of the highest integrity, intellect, commitment, they have been not just a support to me personally but they have been absolute warriors on so many issues. The loss of Scott and Larissa Waters leaves a gaping hole in the parliament. We have got some very strong replacements for them if indeed the situation works out as we expect it to. We are very sad to lose them and I think it is a great loss for the country as well.Greens leader Richard Di Natale speaking about the resignation of Deputy Greens Leader Larissa Waters today after she discovered she held dual citizenship. She was born in Canada. Greens Senator Scott Ludlam stepped