JOURNALIST: Minister, this is a man who oversaw the referrals of six Senators to the High Court. What excuse could he possibly have for not even checking his citizenship status earlier than now?
JULIE BISHOP: Good evening. I understand that Senator Parry always believed that he was an Australian citizen, indeed that his father was an Australian citizen. His father even served in the Australian Army. So he believed he was an Australian citizen. Our citizenship laws have changed many times since the Constitution was established in 1901 and there's been a lot of complexity around Section 44. As of Friday the High Court have clarified the situation with regard to eligibility to stand for Parliament as far as dual citizenship is concerned. It's very clear now, and Stephen Parry read the judgment over the weekend and he sought advice at the earliest opportunity and he's taken that advice and is standing down. I pay tribute to him for his years of service in the Senate. It's now time for everyone to take personal responsibility for their eligibility and ensure that they are - and that's current and future Members and Senators - eligible to stand for election.
JOURNALIST: Can I come to that question of personal responsibility? There are calls for an audit here. I think you might understand there are people in the public who would look at Parliament now and say that you're quite prepared to spend a lot of money to come up with some electronic system to track down welfare cheats and send them letters even when they're not breaking the law in some cases and put them under that scrutiny but when it comes to politicians obeying the law, suddenly we don't want an audit to try and figure out exactly what’s going on in these circumstances. Given about the legitimacy of people in the Parliament, isn't that just a given now?
JULIE BISHOP: The High Court has made it very clear what Section 44 means and this is the first time we've had such comprehensive analysis of it. The laws relating to citizenship have changed many times since 1901. The High Court has now clarified it. So Senator Parry -
JOURNALIST: So have the audit.
JULIE BISHOP: Well, they are people who can take personal responsibility to determine whether they're eligible or not. I think that's a far fairer and more appropriate way of doing it. You can assess your own personal circumstances and determine if you are eligible. They are the rules. That's the way the High Court's laid it out and people should abide by it.
JOURNALIST: So, Julie, it’s Jimmy here, how are you?
JULIE BISHOP: Hi Jimmy.
JOURNALIST: So News Corp have conducted a poll and they found you’re the big candidate to be the new leader, the one for the new leader, can you guarantee you won't be running for PM?
JULIE BISHOP: I'm not running for PM.
JOURNALIST: Are you sure?
JULIE BISHOP: I'm running along Cottesloe Beach, as I said on another station earlier this morning. I’m running very hard as Foreign Minister, I love the job I'm doing. I just happen to be Acting Prime Minister because Prime Minister Turnbull is overseas and Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce is facing a by-election in New England. This is just part of the job of being Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party.
JOURNALIST: Can you guarantee you won't ever run for PM?
JULIE BISHOP: Please. The media go on and on with these questions. I just saw a whole group of people on your show say they're not interested in politics. Politicians who talk about themselves all the time put people off politics, so let's move on to something that they really care about.
JOURNALIST: I guess that's our cue to wrap.
JOURNALIST: You wrapped yourself.
JULIE BISHOP: That is the perfect interview. I tick that box.
JOURNALIST: Thank you for joining us.
- Ends -
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