LETTER: I chose to become an Australian citizen
I WELCOME the comments made by E I Saint (NM August 16).
This provides another opportunity to highlight the facts relating to eligibility to run as a state candidate.
Details regarding my citizenship were highlighted in an article by Jim Alouat in the NewsMail (July 29).
In that article, the relevant provision of the Constitution of Queensland 2001 was provided.
As set out in section 64 of the Parliament of Queensland Act 2001:
(1) A person may be nominated as a candidate for election, and may be elected, as a member of the Assemby for an electoral district only if the person is - (a) an adult Australian citizen living in Queensland; and (b) enrolled on an electoral roll for the electoral district or another electoral district; and (c) not a disqualified person ...
I am an Australian citizen.
However, rather than "just recently" arriving, as inferred, I actually moved to Australia over 14 years ago and have lived in Bundaberg that entire time.
Unlike those who were born here, I chose to become an Australian citizen.
This is my home and I am committed to Australia.
Federal politicians are bound by section 44 of Australia's constitution in which being a citizen of any other country makes a person ineligible to stand for federal parliament.
This does not apply to the states and territories.
According to Professor Graeme Orr, an expert in constitutional law from the University of Queensland, the states and territories have a different approach.
In a Courier Mail (August 16) article, Professor Orr was quoted as saying "On January 1 in 1901 when Australia was born, it was born with what's called a rigid constitution where the only way to make changes is via a referendum with a majority.
Whereas the states inherited the same model they'd always had, which is a system from Britain, where your fundamental laws aren't written in stone.
They're ordinary acts of parliament than can be updated with a parliamentary majority.
In their respective constitutions, almost all states make clear that an MP being a dual citizen at the time of election isn't an issue.
Only a few have rules about a sitting member actively taking out another nationality.
Victoria is even more liberal - they don't have any (rules) about it at all."
This country was founded on the diversity of immigrants.
It is with this diversity that we are a strong nation.
Ideas and different world views are what strengthen our intellectual debate.
We should all be able to share our views working together toward the common goal of a healthy economy and community.
I'm proud to be an Australian and I will serve Queensland with integrity, loyalty and honour.
One Nation Candidate Bundaberg
THE recent announcement by Hinkler MP Keith Pitt of $6 million in funding to support a new industrial development at the Port of Bundaberg shows how other levels of government are sharing the same confidence and vision that Bundaberg Regional Council and our business sector have in our region.
This sort of funding will leverage not just this key maritime development but also generate a ripple effect that will be apparent for generations to come as more industry develops around this site to provide services which are critical to the eastern seaboard marine industry.
The impact this announcement will have on the growth of the Port of Bundaberg is immeasurable and is a significant game changer for the fortunes of the region.
The additional activity this project will generate around the vicinity of the port means jobs and economic growth for our region.
This funding is not a short-term benefit but will seed industry growth that will provide a long lasting and meaningful contribution to the Bundaberg Region.
It was extremely gracious of Darryl Savage of Pacific Tug, who, at the announcement continually acknowledged the council's important role as the auspice organisation behind this successful federal funding application.
While I thank Mr Savage for his strong acknowledgment of the council's role in this project, it would be remiss of me not to thank council's staff and officers across various sections for the ongoing work that is happening behind the scenes to develop these infrastructure projects and funding applications.
For any win we have with funding from other levels of government, it must be remembered that a solid project must have a well-planned, strong and competitive application written.
Our staff have the ability to take the council's great ideas and projects and articulate them in a manner that attracts support and ensures funding can be applied with confidence.
It should also be noted that we are always looking to leverage from state and federal funding opportunities.
At any one time, the council has applications under assessment for projects and initiatives that matter to this region.
Bridges, roads, parks, programs and larger one-off economy galvanisers such as this are always being submitted for funding approval for the benefit of our great region.