ONE of the architects of draconian changes to the controversial Beattie/Bligh government era Vegetation Management Act has been forced to quit politics following the realisation she is dual Australian/Canadian citizen.
The Brisbane-based overseas-born Greens senator today revealed she had failed to renounce her Canadian citizenship. Under section 44 of the constitution dual citizens are ineligible to stand for the Australian parliament.
Prior to entering the senate in 2011 Ms Waters was on the staff of the labor-aligned Environmental Defenders Office, which was largely responsible for drafting the Vegetation Management Act that came in to law in 1999.
In that time a number of highly contentious changes were made to the VMA including the major increases in penalties and the introduction of draconian reverse onus of proof laws, meaning landholders were assumed to guilty of alleged VMA breaches, rather than the established democratic principal of assumed innocence.
The EDO continues to receive funding from the Palaszczuk government.
It is understood Greens convener and former Democrats leader Andrew Bartlett is likely to return to the senate following Ms Waters’ resignation.
Ms Waters’ announcement follows the resignation of fellow WA-based Greens senator Scott Ludlam who failed to renounce his New Zealand citizenship.