Queensland MP sobs as she shares heartbreaking story
A WEEPING Labor MP today told of how as a six-year-old she watched her mother leave her and never return.
Susan Lamb, Member for Longman, North of Brisbane, was explaining the deeply personal reasons why she cannot conclusively establish she does not have dual citizenship, as the Government has repeatedly charged.
British authorities had asked for her parents' marriage certificate. However, only her mother and father could provide it.
Her father died 20 years ago and her mother has been estranged from the time she stepped on to a train in Mackay, Queensland, waved goodbye to that six-year-old, and never came back to the family.
"I remember Dad taking me to the train station, one evening, to collect my mother," she told a hushed House of Representatives.
"I thought she was going to come home.
"The train came, the train went, no sign of her, so we went home."
Soon after, she did see her mother, when her mum pulled up in front of the house but again she declined to rejoin the family.
"Words were exchanged, and my mother drove away," said Ms Lamb.
"My dad was now a single parent, an amazing man whose example I try to live up to every day of my life."
Government members have demanded Ms Lamb quit Parliament and stand for a by-election with the correct citizenship papers, and Defence Industries Minister Christopher Pyne has warned she could be referred to the High Court.
The emotional and clearly difficult explanation from Ms Lamb was a direct counter to those demands.
Her reasons have been aired before, but she said she had to take the matter to Parliament and she remains confident she took all reasonable steps to renounce British citizenship.
"I've had to rip that bandaid off a very painful story, painful for me and painful for my family," she said.
But this was not a story to gain sympathy. "I don't speak out of hatred for my mother," she said. "I carry hurt, I carry disappointment, and it's fair to say I probably still carry a fair bit of anger."
The Government expressed sympathy for Ms Lamb but made clear it would continue to challenge her citizenship status and believed she should be referred to the High Court.
Government figures said there still was no firm evidence she had done all that could be expected to shed British citizenship.