Menu
News

Citizenship saga looms over CQ jobs package

UNDER CLOUD: Deputy Nationals Leader Fiona Nash (right) has told the Senate she is a dual British citizen and is now waiting on the High Court's decision as to whether she was eligible for election.
UNDER CLOUD: Deputy Nationals Leader Fiona Nash (right) has told the Senate she is a dual British citizen and is now waiting on the High Court's decision as to whether she was eligible for election. LUKAS COCH

UPDATE, 12.38PM: THE HIGH Court will hand down its decision on the fate of the seven parliamentarians on Friday afternoon.

EARLIER: THE CITIZENSHIP cloud hanging over seven federal parliamentarians including Regional Development Minister Fiona Nash could rain on a major central Queensland jobs project, according to an Opposition frontbencher.

But the Minister is having none of it, telling The Observer Shadow Regional Services spokesman Stephen Jones' professed concerns were "rubbish".

The Bowen Basin Regional Jobs Investment Package was announced at the last federal election and formed a key part of the LNP's pitch to bring jobs to the Gladstone region.

But well over a year after the election, no major projects have been approved under the program.

The local planning committee, which is chaired by former Gladstone Regional Council chief executive Graeme Kanofski, delivered its local investment plan in May.

 

PRESSURE ON: Shadow Regional Services Minister Stephen Jones (middle) during his recent visit to Gladstone.
PRESSURE ON: Shadow Regional Services Minister Stephen Jones (middle) during his recent visit to Gladstone. Andrew Thorpe

During a recent visit to Gladstone, Mr Jones said the fact Senator Nash's citizenship case was now before the High Court could put any jobs projects signed off on by the Minister at risk of legal challenge.

The High Court's decision could see the Senator declared ineligible to have been elected.

"(Senator Nash) sits on $1.7b worth of grant money (and) most of it is contestable," Mr Jones said.

"Any one of those people who were unsuccessful in getting a grant might consider raising a legal challenge., saying the person who signed off on that decision was not entitled to be a Minister because she's not entitled to be a Member of Parliament.

"She should remove the uncertainty. It's almost clear that she's stopped making decisions anyway.

"She's kicked the Bowen Basin RJIP dates down the road, we think it's because of this."

 

STEPPED DOWN: CQ-based Senator Matt Canavan stepped from his role as Resources Minister after suspicions were raised he may have held dual Italian citizenship.
STEPPED DOWN: CQ-based Senator Matt Canavan stepped from his role as Resources Minister after suspicions were raised he may have held dual Italian citizenship. Chris Ison ROK210616croad2

 

A spokesman from the Senator's office was reluctant to comment directly on the High Court decision as the case was currently before the court.

But Senator Nash didn't hesitate to respond directly to Mr Jones, saying he "should write fantasy fiction".

"Stephen Jones' tactic of pretending RJIP packages around the nation have been delayed has obviously arrived in the Bowen Basin," she said.

"The Bowen Basin RJIP is running exactly on schedule - applications closed on August 15 and the relevant Department is currently doing in-depth assessment of applications including the finances of the businesses applying.

"I continue to carry out my Ministerial obligations in full confidence this is absolutely appropriate.

"Jones should spend more time in regional Australia and less time writing rubbish."

Topics:  fiona nash



Gladstone celebrant 'excited' to marry gay couple

FOR CHANGE: Judy Whicker has been a marriage celebrant for more than 10 years and is in favour of same sex marriage.

Judy Whicker really 'excited' about same sex marriage result

Former Australian idol returns for solo show

ON TOUR: Acclaimed Irish-Australian singer-songwriter Damien Leith has returned to Gladstone with a solo show.

Former Aussie idol star returns for first show in nine years.

WICET costs appeal digs up the past over $4m payout

An appeal relating to costs awarded against WICET to contractor Civil Mining and Construction has started in Brisbane.

Six-year mining works stoush back in court

Local Partners