LNP endorse terror citizenship laws
PRIME Minister Tony Abbott has confirmed the government plans to introduce legislation to strip Australian citizenship from dual nationals who engage in terrorism.
The proposed legislation would update the Australian Citizenship Act to ensure dual nationals who serve or fight for terrorist groups, or engage in terrorism-related conduct inspired by those groups, automatically lose their Australian citizenship.
The act will also be amended to ensure dual nationals who are convicted of a terrorism-related offence automatically lose their Australian citizenship.
Mr Abbott said on Tuesday the government's highest priority was keeping the community safe.
He said the government would also investigate whether the laws should have a retrospective aspect to them to deal with the dual nationals who are behind bars after being convicted of a terrorism-related offence.
"We want to ensure terrorists who are dual nationals are prevented from returning to Australia and dual nationals who engage in terrorism within Australia can be removed, where possible," he said.
"Dual nationals who engage in terrorism are betraying their allegiance to this country and do not deserve to be Australian citizens."
Mr Abbott said the proposed legislation would include redress avenues for those who have had their citizenship stripped.
It is understood this was included after the legal fraternity expressed concerns the legislation's validity could be challenged in the High Court.
"The changes modernise our current laws ... the world has changed so our laws should change accordingly," he said.
"These provisions will not leave a person stateless and do not exclude the role of the courts.
"This will enable a person who has lost his or her citizenship to seek legal redress."
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said he would comment on the legislation after he is briefed about the details on Wednesday morning before it is tabled in parliament.