Malcolm Roberts could be the exception among sitting parliamentarians ensnared in the dual citizen saga in that his election in 2016 may have been invalid, the high court has heard. Roberts and former senator Scott Ludlam were different to the other three politicians so far referred to the high court – Barnaby Joyce, Larissa Waters and Matt Canavan – because they knew they had been citizens of other countries, the solicitor-general, Stephen Donaghue, told the court on Thursday. Tony Windsor, the former independent MP and rival to Joyce, has been allowed to join the citizenship case, which chief justice Susan Kiefel has set down hearings in Canberra in October.
Kiefel, at the directions hearing in Brisbane, allowed Windsor to join the case as a “contradictor” after he stood unsuccessfully against Joyce, who belatedly discovered he was a New Zealand citizen.
The chief justice agreed with Donaghue, that the matter of whether up to seven federal parliamentarians who held dual citizenship were valid candidates in the 2016 election was urgent. But proposed hearings in September were pushed back to 10-12 October in Canberra to accommodate legal teams for Canavan and Roberts, who would call experts on foreign citizenship laws.