Citizen Page -- Born in the USA, Nationals candidate could be ineligible

By PETER CATON

THE National Party candidate for Richmond has asked the United States ambassador to Australia to check out whether she still has American citizenship an issue which could prevent her from taking a seat in parliament.

But Dr Page, who was born in the United States when her mother worked in the Australian diplomatic corps in 1960, is confident her American citizenship automatically lapsed while she grew up in Australia or when she became an Australian citizen in the mid-1990s.

And yesterday she hit out at NSW Upper House Labor MP Amanda Fazio who raised questions about her citizenship accusing Ms Fazio of wasting her state taxpayer-funded time on searching out dirt.

Dr Page said her understanding of the situation was that she did not have dual citizenship, but because the matter was so important she had asked the US ambassador to check on her status.

She said the ambassador had not yet replied but she would reveal his answer as soon as she knew.

In 1999, the High Court ruled a One Nation candidate elected to the senate, Heather Hill, could not take her seat because she was a dual British-Australian citizen at the time of her nomination as a candidate.

Ms Fazio claimed the Liberal Party was setting itself up to take hold of the seat of Richmond should Dr Page defeat the sitting Labor MP Justine Elliot.

Last week it was revealed the x Liberals are seeking a local candidate for the federal election due later this year.

Ms Fazio said there was speculation that Dr Page "an American citizen" would be unable to take her seat in Parliament and the Liberals by running a candidate "will be able to take her seat in the event that she wins".

Dr Page said Ms Fazio's attack was a waste of NSW parliamentary time and the Labor Party was clearly worried.

"The Labor Party must be quite concerned I'm running for Richmond... That must be pretty scary for them," she said. "Why else would you pull a state member off their bread and butter job?

"The worst dirt they can find is my mum was a diplomat and I was born overseas."

Dr Page said she was brought to Australia at the age of five attaining permanent residency status. She decided to take out Australian citizenship in the mid-nineties.

ACCORDING to the free online encyclopaedia Wikipedia loss of US citizenship requires voluntary relinquishment. The site says voluntary relinquishment can be accomplished either through renunciation procedures specially established by the State Department or through other actions (e.g. treason) which demonstrate an intention to give up US citizenship.



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