Senator Cory Bernardi has indicated this morning that resolving the citizenship crisis should stand at the head of the queue of priorities in parliament - ahead of redefining marriage.
Speaking with ABC Radio National's Fran Kelly, Senator Bernardi said proroguing parliament - as he had suggested months ago - it would have restored the Australian public's confidence in parliament, and confirmed that decisions taken in parliament were by people who were allowed to be there.
Government representatives have previously said that if the marriage law postal survey returned a 'Yes' result in favour of redefining marriage, same-sex marriage would be legislated before Christmas.
However, in comments to the ABC reported in The Australian newspaper online this morning, Australian Conservatives founder Senator Bernardi says the constitutional crisis over citizenship has to come first, saying “It is much more pressing to deal with the composition of the parliament to establish that it is actually constitutionally allowed to exist in its current status.”
The Australian Senate resumes sitting alone next Monday and has three sitting weeks remaining for the year. The House of Representatives - where the government holds a slender majority under threat from current and potential future by-elections - has only 2 sitting weeks left for the year.
Earlier this week the government indicated it would move motions in both Houses when they separately resumed, to require all members of that house to provide answers to important questions about members' eligibility to hold their seats on citizenship grounds within 21 days. Australian Conservatives have been critical of this move as falling short of a proper citizenship audit, noting that it will extend the time for resolving the matter until some way into 2018.
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