The Project, Perth – Interview with Waleed Aly, Carrie Bickmore, Peter Helliar and Jimmy Barnes

  • Transcript, E&OE
01 November 2017

JOURNALIST: Minister, this is a man whooversaw the referrals of six Senators to the High Court. What excusecould he possibly have for not even checking his citizenship statusearlier than now?

JULIEBISHOP: Good evening. I understand that Senator Parryalways believed that he was an Australian citizen, indeed that his fatherwas an Australian citizen. His father even served in the AustralianArmy. So he believed he was an Australian citizen. Our citizenshiplaws have changed many times since the Constitution was establishedin 1901 and there's been a lot of complexity around Section 44. As ofFriday the High Court have clarified the situation with regard toeligibility to stand for Parliament as far as dual citizenship is concerned.It's very clear now, and Stephen Parry read the judgment over theweekend and he sought advice at the earliest opportunity and he'staken that advice and is standing down. I pay tribute to him for hisyears of service in the Senate. It's now time for everyone to takepersonal responsibility for their eligibility and ensure that theyare - and that's current and future Members and Senators - eligibleto stand for election.

JOURNALIST: Can I come to that question ofpersonal responsibility? There are calls for an audit here. I thinkyou might understand there are people in the public who would look at Parliamentnow and say that you're quite prepared to spend a lot of money tocome up with some electronic system to track down welfare cheats and sendthem letters even when they're not breaking the law in some cases and put themunder that scrutiny but when it comes to politicians obeying thelaw, suddenly we don't want an audit to try and figure out exactly what'sgoing on in these circumstances. Given about the legitimacy ofpeople in the Parliament, isn't that just a given now?

JULIEBISHOP: The High Court has made it very clear what Section 44means and this is the first time we've had such comprehensive analysis ofit. The laws relating to citizenship have changed many times since1901. The High Court has now clarified it. So Senator Parry -

JOURNALIST: So have the audit.

JULIEBISHOP: Well, they are people who can takepersonal responsibility to determine whether they're eligible or not.I think that's a far fairer and more appropriate way of doing it. Youcan assess your own personal circumstances and determine ifyou are eligible. They are the rules. That's the way the High Court'slaid it out and people should abide by it.

JOURNALIST: So, Julie, it's Jimmy here, how areyou?


JOURNALIST: So News Corp have conducted apoll and they found you're the big candidate to be the new leader, theone for the new leader, can you guarantee you won't be runningfor PM?

JULIEBISHOP: I'm not running for PM.

JOURNALIST: Are you sure?

JULIEBISHOP: I'm running along Cottesloe Beach, as I said onanother station earlier this morning. I'm running very hard as ForeignMinister, I love the job I'm doing. I just happen to be Acting PrimeMinister because Prime Minister Turnbull is overseas and Deputy Prime MinisterBarnaby Joyce is facing a by-election in New England. This is justpart of the job of being Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party.

JOURNALIST: Can you guarantee you won'tever run for PM?

JULIEBISHOP: Please. The media go on and on with these questions.I just saw a whole group of people on your show say they're notinterested in politics. Politicians who talk about themselves all the timeput people off politics, so let's move on to something that theyreally care about.

JOURNALIST: I guess that's our cue to wrap.

JOURNALIST: You wrapped yourself.

JULIEBISHOP: That is the perfect interview. I tick that box.

JOURNALIST: Thank you for joining us.

- Ends -

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