What Katy Did is the heart-warming story in the Louisa May Alcott Little Women genre of a plucky and spirited Mid-Western girl who overcomes adversity in the best tradition of American pioneer women.
‘What Katy Didn’t’ is the unfolding tale of a former ACT Labor chief minister who, despite her Labor Leader’s firm assurances that Labor had “strict vetting procedures’ in place for all parliamentarians, managed to somehow forget that that she was a dual British citizen and admitting to contesting last year’s election as such – and has now resigned from her frontbench positions and is heading down the hill to the High Court.
Senator Katy Gallagher, who moved from the helm of government in the ACT to the Senate via a casual vacancy in March 2015, somehow forgot her dual nationality status and did not cease to be one until August 16 last year, giving the lie to her leader’s earnest admonishment that there was “no cloud over any of our people.”
But of course there was one, large, dark and threatening hanging over Senator Gallagher, who is something of a poster girl for Labor voters in the ACT.
Gallagher moved swiftly from being the Member for Molonglo in the ACT Legislative Assembly, winning the seat with, inevitably, in the ACT, heavy union backing, going on to be ACT minister for health, higher education, and regional development, then replacing Senator Kate Lundy in the Senate, after her stint as chief minister.
Ironically, given the most recent revelations of Gallagher’s dual citizenship, she replaced Sam Dastyari as Manager of Opposition Business, after he was first asked to step aside from his portfolio, after it became known that he had asked for payment of a $1670 bill from a Chinese business man.
Speaking on Radio National this morning deputy Labor leader Tanya Plibersek strove mightily to shift the blame from Gallagher’s shoulders and back to the government benches, on grounds that Gallagher had, indeed, taken the ‘reasonable grounds’ to end her dual citizenship status and that Australia could not override the laws on citizenship of other nations’ judiciaries.
“I think it’s awful,” Tanya intoned, “and for many people this is very difficult, for a lot of us whose parents had to flee war torn countries.”
Somehow it didn’t sound very convincing and Fran Kelly seemed to think so too.
Gallagher, along with the other MP’s under the cloud, should be referred to the High Court: Liberals Julia banks, Alex Hawke, Nola Marina (through marriage) and dual citizen Dean Smith, and Labor’s Lisa Singh, Louise Pratt and Alex Gallacher and the Greens Nick McKim.
It’s just as well that there is a nicely sited café-restaurant in Canberra’s High Court that serves good coffee and cheery smiles. It’s going to be a busy time for those judges.
Got something to add? Join the discussion and comment below.