Opinion – Australian Citizenship
For those who enjoy our citizenship there must be an acceptance of our core values; tolerance, pluralism and peace.
Australian citizens who join terrorist organisations in order to attack us are seeking to destroy these very values.
It is time we looked at new ways to revoke the citizenship of those who wish to harm us and have abused those rights and privileges.
This is not radical; it’s plain common sense and is used by other law-abiding countries, including the United Kingdom. It is time we looked at these UK laws and their applicability in Australia.
In 2009, the UK government revoked the citizenship of two people. In 2013, this jumped to eight. However, the government was powerless to act against dozens of foreign fighters who were British citizens but had travelled to Iraq and Syria to fight for Daesh.
So last year the UK introduced new laws allowing the removal of citizenship from these terrorists, while keeping a balance for oversight and review. It is a sensible example for Australia.
The laws mean UK citizens who join terrorist organisations can now lose their citizenship if they have acted in a way that is seriously prejudicial to the vital interests of the state, if removing their citizenship would be conducive to the public good , and if the Government has reasonable grounds for believing they are able to become a citizen of an- other country.
These laws apply to anyone who can claim citizenship of another country.
Sadly, home grown terrorism is now a reality. With the rise of social media and its use by hate preachers to groom young Australians, we need to use every tool available to deal with individuals who decide to act against us.
Terrorists who declare war on us should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. The law, though, should include the right to remove the extraordinary privilege of Australian citizenship.