Labor Senator referred to High Court over citizenship

Paul Osborne                                                       Monday

Four other Labor MPs are under a citizenship cloud and the Federal Government is demanding that Opposition Leader Bill Shorten refer his members to the High Court.

Mr Feeney has been referred to the court to clarify his citizenship status, because he could not find documentation relating to the renunciation of his United Kingdom citizenship back in 2007.

Ms Wong said Labor did not resile from their belief Senator Gallagher is entitled to be in Parliament.

"He has a number of members who we all know knew they were and were United Kingdom citizens at the time they nominated", Mr Turnbull said.

The High Court is due to go on a summer break from December 15 and is slated to return February 5.

However, with the vote tied 73-all Speaker Tony Smith used his casting vote to defeat the motion.

Those that were flagged in the Labor motion to be headed for the High Court were Labor MPs David Feeney, Josh Wilson, Justine Keay and Susan Lamb; Liberal MPs Nola Marino, Alex Hawke, Jason Falinski and Julia Banks; and NXT MP Rebekha Sharkie.

The government is short one vote, with John Alexander soon to face a by-election in Bennelong.

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Labor has been in talks with the crossbench to get backing for the referrals, as has Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

Katter's Australia Party MP Bob Katter said that he had been talking to the public and they were sick of the fiasco.

'This can not be a place for a protection racket of the highest order, ' she said.

Manager of Opposition Business Tony Burke expressed little sympathy for Mr Feeney in an ABC radio interview on Wednesday evening.

'When it came time to actually find the document, one of the documents hasn't turned up.

The ruling center-right pairing lost its one-seat lower-house majority when the High Court found Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce to be a New Zealander and therefore ineligible for office.

He has reiterated his call for a referendum on section 44 of the constitution.

'I think we need to work within the rules the High Court has created, ' he said.

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