Australian Govt loses majority after court ruling

Posted October 28, 2017

Malcolm Turnbull's parliamentary majority is in danger after the High Court disqualified Barnaby Joyce.

"The decision of the court today is clearly not the outcome we were hoping for but the business of government goes on", Turnbull told reporters in Canberra.

The ejection of the Nationals leader means the government will lose its one-seat majority in the House of Representatives and likely embolden Labor, which has threatened to cause chaos and confusion if Mr Joyce's election is deemed invalid.

Joyce was born in Australia but had New Zealand citizenship through his father. A no-confidence vote would require all independent and crossbench lawmakers to turn against the government.

Canavan was sworn back in as a minister for resources and northern Australia late Friday while Turnbull took over Joyce's portfolios of agriculture and water resources.

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Australia's constitution states that members of parliament can not be "a subject or a citizen or entitled to the rights or privileges of a subject or citizen of a foreign power". But four of the seven now under a cloud - the three ministers and Nick Xenophon, leader of a minor party - are Australian-born and did nothing to become foreign citizens.

In July, two senators in the Australian Greens stepped down from their positions after discovering they were a New Zealand and a Canadian citizen respectively.

The New Zealand High Commission told him he had been a New Zealand citizen in August and he renounced his citizenship after that.

Joyce has been deputy prime minister since February 2016 when he was elected head of the National party, the junior partner in Australia's governing coalition.

Depp and his then-girlfriend Amber Heard made a famously awkward apology video at the request of the Australian government, in which they said "protecting Australia is important". He was born to Cypriot- and Greek-born parents and checked with both embassies to ensure he wasn't a citizen of those countries.