The “dual citizenship” issue among Australian politicians has taken a dramatic turn with Coalition energy minister Josh Frydenburg sent to Manus Island after it was revealed he was a dual Australian citizen-stateless refugee as a result of his asylum seeking mother entering Australia from Hungary in 1950.
The government initially tried to defend Mr Frydenburg, with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull telling the press: “Australians have had a gutful of this citizenship distraction, they are not concerned about how Josh Frydenburg’s mother entered Australia, they are concerned about Labor’s plan to put people smugglers back in business and… hang on, his mum obviously used a people smuggler, oh drat…”
After an emergency cabinet meeting, the government was forced to admit Frydenburg’s mother’s refugee status meant he had no right to set foot on Australian soil. Mr Turnbull explained: “We can not let this 67 year-old example of disregard for Australia’s borders to stand. Any other decision would only encourage people smugglers.
Mr Turnbull said bigger issues were at stake: “We simply cannot allow foreign infiltration of our parliament, with foreign elements undermining our society and our values of decency and a fair go. That is our job.”
Mr Frydenburg arrived at Manus Island three days into its abandonment by the Australian government, with all power and water shut off. The asylum seekers were reported to be happy to see a senior government minister finally arrive at the abandoned compound, although it was hard to tell given how weak they are from hunger and thirst.