No citizenship drama for Dreyfus

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Citizen Dreyfus: Federal Labor Isaacs MP Mark Dreyfus has always been an Australian citizen. Picture: Gary Sissons

ANY doubts over the eligibility of federal MP Mark Dreyfus to sit in Parliament have been quickly dispelled by the member for Isaacs.

Mr Dreyfus has confirmed he faces no threat of being stood down under section 44 of the Constitution that has seen several federal MPs, including Nationals MP and Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, face the prospect of being declared ineligible to sit as an MP due to dual citizenship concerns.

Online news site Crikey on Monday (4 September) suggested Mr Dreyfus and other Jewish MPs could become embroiled in the citizenship fiasco that has rocked Australian politics in recent weeks due to Israel offering all “Jewish-descended people” the “right to return” to that country.

Mr Dreyfus, a former attorney-general under the previous Rudd-Gillard-Rudd Labor government, said he is not a citizen of any country other than Australia.

“Labor is confident that all of our MPs have met the constitutional requirements to be members of the Australian Parliament,” he said.

“I was born in Australia and do not hold citizenship of any other country.”

Jewish people can apply for a “right of return” visa and can become an Israeli citizen when they move to Israel.

Mr Dreyfus is not and never has been an Israeli citizen and has never applied for the “right of return” visa, officially known as an Oleh/Aliyah visa.

Seven MPs including Mr Joyce have discovered they are citizens of other countries by descent and the High Court of Australia will rule in October whether the MPs can remain in federal Parliament.

Mr Dreyfus has been the federal member for Isaacs — covering Aspendale, Aspendale Gardens, Bonbeach, Carrum, Chelsea, Edithvale, Keysborough, Mordialloc, Noble Park, Patterson Lakes and Waterways — since  2007.

First published in the Chelsea Mordialloc Mentone News – 6 September 2017

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