Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt could be in line for promotion.
Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt could be in line for promotion. MICK TSIKAS

Joyce dramas could benefit Pitt

MEMBER for Hinkler Keith Pitt could be the big winner if Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce is ousted from parliament.

Yesterday New Zealand authorities revealed Mr Joyce is a Kiwi citizen.

Under section 44 of the Constitution, that makes him ineligible to hold office in Australia.

The rule has already seen Greens senators Scott Ludlam and Larissa Waters resign and Resources Minister Matthew Canavan quit cabinet.

Yesterday's revelation puts pressure on the Nationals leader to step aside, at least while the matter is examined by the High Court.

Hinkler MP Keith Pitt would not comment to the NewsMail yesterday but if Mr Joyce was to step aside he could be catapulted in to a cabinet role.

Currently Mr Pitt is the Assistant Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, before the last election he was the Assistant Minister assisting the Deputy Prime Minister.

Mr Pitt has taken on more responsibility and should be in line for a promotion.

Last month he led a delegation to the 9th Australia Solomon Islands Business Forum and launched the Federal Government's Strongim Bisnis initiative, part of Australia's $50 million Solomon Islands Growth Program. He also hosted the PNG Trade Minister Richard Maru in Australia.

Leader of the House Christopher Pyne, who referred Mr Joyce to the High Court, yesterday told Parliament: "It is time for the High Court to be given the opportunity to make a determination about what section 44(1) of the Constitution means in the modern era.”



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