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Renewed calls to resolve the Constitutional citizenship crisis

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull addresses the media during a press conference in Perth

Federal Labor is calling on the Turnbull government to demand all M-Ps prove their bona fides as the citizenship crisis continues. Eight M-Ps have resigned or been ruled ineligible to sit in parliament because they were dual citizens.Preeti K McCarthy reports.

Opposition leader Bill Shorten has labelled the parliament a circus, and says the citizenship saga must end.   Mr Shorten says politicians should just stand up in parliament and declare their citizenship status.

"We've offered a proposal to Turnbull which would see M-P's coming forward and explaining to the parliament their circumstances and not dual citizens or that they've taken reasonable steps to cease being dual citizens. It would be completely hypocritical of Turnbull to say somehow this measure doesn't make sense when he demanded of me that I demonstrate that I was no longer or at any time a dual citizen."

The Prime Minister rejected calls for a parliamentary audit of the citizenship status of M-P's. Malcolm Turnbull says a full check isn't needed, as only the High Court has the authority to assess fit and proper members.

"I saw Mr Shorten's statement. It was characteristically confused. Every member of parliament has a continuous obligation to comply with the Constitution."     

But the Opposition leader says there is an escalating Constitutional citizenship crisis that must be addressed.

He says Australians want the situation resolved.

"The Australian people know that you don't fix a problem by running away from it. Labor recognizes there is a Constitutional citizenship crisis which is going from bad to worse and the number one person responsible for making a bad problem worse is Turnbull because you go anywhere - as I have today talking to people - people say - and it's questions that ordinary people, the Australian people are asking. They want to know, what does Turnbull know that he won't tell the Australian people, what is Turnbull hiding and why won't he accept a solution to fix the problem so that we can get on to the issues that matter, like jobs, like penalty rates, like rising out of control energy prices."

Greens leader Richard Di Natale has again called for a parliamentary citizenship audit.

Richard Di Natale says the Greens even asked an astrophysicist to "do the numbers" on how likely it is that more members of the federal Lower House would be deemed ineligible.

"The probability that there are more members of the Lower House who are ineligible to stand is 99.96 per cent. The likelihood that given there are five senators (ineligible) out of a chamber of 76 and only one in a chamber of 150 is 0.04 per cent. Now on those numbers, it is almost certain that there will be more people in the Lower House who are ineligible to stand."  

Mr Di Natale says the situation must end to restore public confidence.

"What we have right now is a government that's too cowardly to do an audit to ensure the Australian people have confidence in the decisions that are being made in parliament."

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