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Tuesday, 22 May 2001
Page: 26806

Mrs Crosio asked the Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs, upon notice, on 27 March 2001:

(1) Has he or his Department considered repealing s.17 of the Australian Citizenship Act to allow dual citizenship to Australian born persons; if not, why not.

(2) How many overseas born dual citizens live in Australia.

(3) Is the Government considering the dual citizenship issue.

Mr Ruddock (Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs and Minister for Reconciliation and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs) —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) The Australian Citizenship Council, an independent advisory body which I appointed in August 1998 to provide advice on citizenship matters, recommended in their report released in February 2000 that s17 of the Australian Citizenship Act 1948 be repealed.

I expect that the Government response to the report of the Australian Citizenship Council will be released shortly.

(2) An estimated 4.4 million Australian citizens hold another citizenship. Most of these are Australian citizens born overseas and their Australian-born children.

(3) The Government is considering issues surrounding the repeal of s17 of the Australian Citizenship Act 1948 in the context of its response to the report of the Australian Citizenship Council.