​Citizenship issue sees Greens Senator Scott Ludlam hand in his notice

The former Greens communications spokesman has resigned after it was revealed he holds dual citizenship.
Written by Asha Barbaschow, Contributor

Senator for Western Australia and Co-Deputy Leader of the Australian Greens Scott Ludlam has announced his resignation, confirming in a statement Friday afternoon he has no desire to draw out or take the citizenship issue to the courts.

Holding citizenship in New Zealand as well as Australia, under Section 44 of the Australian constitution, the former communications spokesman is forbidden to hold elected office in the federal Parliament.

"I apologise unreservedly for this mistake," he said in a statement Friday. "This was my error, something I should have checked when I first nominated for preselection in 2016."

Ludlam was born in New Zealand, but left at age three and settled in Australia not long before his ninth birthday, he explained.

"I'll find a way to continue making a contribution in some different capacity, but thank you all for sharing this remarkable ride with me," Ludlam continued, noting in a twitter post that there are other ways to make trouble.

The former Greens deputy was known for questioning his peers from other parties, most notably regarding Australia's impending data breach notification laws, which were passed at the third attempt in February.

The laws will see people be alerted of their data being inappropriately accessed come February 2018 under the Privacy Amendment (Notifiable Data Breaches) Act, and the legislation is restricted to incidents involving personal information, credit card information, credit eligibility, and tax file number information that would put individuals at "real risk of serious harm".

Notification laws apply only to companies covered by the Privacy Act, and sees intelligence agencies, small businesses with turnover of less than AU$3 million annually, and political parties exempt from disclosing breaches.

Ludlam was unsuccessful in moving a motion to have the notification requirements apply to political parties and businesses with turnover of less than AU$3 million.

As the Greens' communications spokesman, Ludlam also previously labelled the country's data-retention scheme -- which was passed by the Australian government in March 2015 and came into effect in October 2015 -- as "little more than a surveillance tax".

He also called out Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull for his hand in the rollout of the National Broadband Network as Communications Minister for failing to admit his multi-technology mix NBN model was a failed trial when documents were leaked early last year.

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