People in Western Australia were shocked to learn that a state senator had been sacked for not being honest.
Lib Party officials made a shocking discovery that led to Ben Small being forced out of parliament in Western Australia. This is what happened:
This means that WA senator Ben Small, who was born in Australia and New Zealand, has quit the Senate because he found out about this.
In a statement released on Friday, Mr Small said that he had violated section 44 of the Australian Constitution, which says that people can't be forced to work.
It came to light on April 6, which was four days before Prime Minister Scott Morrison called the election.
For a while, he didn't get official confirmation until April 14, after parliament had been broken up.
The fact that he resigned in the middle of a campaign raises important questions.
Also, a citizenship declaration Mr. Small signed in December 2020 shows that he checked "yes" when asked about having a father, grandfather, and grandmother born in New Zealand.
This isn't the only thing he said. His maternal grandfather was born in the United Kingdom.
When Liberal Party officials asked him about it last week, Mr Small said he learned that he might be able to become a citizen of New Zealand. On Friday, he said the same thing.
How did this happen? It isn't clear why these issues didn't come up in 2020
After these concerns were raised, Mr Small took steps to get in touch with the New Zealand High Commission to find out more about his citizenship status and, if necessary, to get rid of it.
On Thursday afternoon, Mr. Small got official confirmation.
It would still need to be decided by the Court of Disputed Returns if he was ineligible to serve in the Senate. "I believe that my circumstances are clear enough and that it is best for me to resign from the Senate," he said on Friday.
The President of the Senate has now been given my resignation. "I will continue to fight for the issues that Western Australians care about, especially for the small businesses across WA that I have championed." It is now clear that I am eligible to run for the Senate in Western Australia. I look forward to campaigning across the state to make sure our government's plans for a stronger Australia can continue to be put into action.
When Mathias Cormann left a spot in the Senate in November 2020, Mr. Small was chosen to fill the empty spot.
"I was born in Perth in 1988, and I've always been an Aussie." Small: "At the time of my birth, my mother was a citizen of Australia and my father had been living here for a long time."
"I have always thought that I didn't have the right to become a New Zealand citizen because of the laws that were in place when I was born."
Isn't it clear that Mr. Small isn't the first federal politician to break section 44 of the Constitution?
It was the same thing that led to Barnaby Joyce being banned from the High Court in December 2017.
"I've always been an Australian citizen because I was born in Tamworth," Mr Joyce said at the time.
As a child, I didn't think I might be a citizen of another country.
When I was born in 1967, I was born in Australia to an Australian mother. I think I'm the fifth generation of my family to live there, too. My father was born in New Zealand, moved to Australia in 1947, and was a British citizen at the time.