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Wednesday, 16 August 2017
Page: 5810

Deputy Prime Minister


Senator FARRELL (South AustraliaDeputy Leader of the Opposition in the Senate) (14:11): My question is to the Minister representing the Deputy Prime Minister, Senator Nash. On 30 July, the Deputy Prime Minister said: 'I'm not a New Zealander. I'm only too happy for anybody to go out and clarify that.' Given that we now know that the Deputy Prime Minister was, in fact, a citizen of New Zealand, why didn't he clarify his own status when he invited others to do so?


Senator NASH (New South WalesDeputy Leader of The Nationals, Minister for Regional Development, Minister for Local Government and Territories and Minister for Regional Communications) (14:12): The senator would be aware that this is a matter that is now in front of the High Court. The Deputy Prime Minister has made a statement regarding this issue, and I would refer the senator to that statement.

Senator Sterle interjecting

The PRESIDENT: Senator Sterle, you have a colleague wanting to ask a question. Senator Farrell, a supplementary question.



Senator FARRELL (South AustraliaDeputy Leader of the Opposition in the Senate) (14:13): Fairfax report that, the week before the Deputy Prime Minister finally came clean about his New Zealand citizenship, they were told by his office: 'We've had all these questions before, but there's nothing to see here. The NZ authorities have told us we don't have a problem. Barnaby established that many years ago.' When did the Deputy Prime Minister's office first contact the New Zealand authorities?


Senator NASH (New South WalesDeputy Leader of The Nationals, Minister for Regional Development, Minister for Local Government and Territories and Minister for Regional Communications) (14:13): I'm not going to comment on media reporting, and I refer the senator to my previous answer.

The PRESIDENT: Senator Farrell, a final supplementary question.



Senator FARRELL (South AustraliaDeputy Leader of the Opposition in the Senate) (14:13): Given that the Deputy Prime Minister could have clarified his New Zealand citizenship by using a four-question online test, isn't it clear that the Deputy Prime Minister was trying to conceal the fact that he was a New Zealand citizen?


Senator NASH (New South WalesDeputy Leader of The Nationals, Minister for Regional Development, Minister for Local Government and Territories and Minister for Regional Communications) (14:14): Clarity will be determined by the High Court, and I refer the senator to my previous answers.