Scott Ludlam whistleblower's identity revealed
THE man who exposed Senator Scott Ludlam's Kiwi citizenship, resulting in his shock resignation today, is Perth barrister, Dr John Cameron.
The experienced barrister is single-handedly responsible for obtaining the proof that Senator Ludlam still holds New Zealand citizenship and is ineligible for politics.
Mr Cameron is understood to have obtained documents that are not publicly available from New Zealand authorities proving Senator Ludlam has dual citizenship - which bars him from holding a Senate seat under Section 44 of the Australian constitution.
The barrister at Francis Burt Chambers contacted Senator Ludlam's office last week "as a courtesy" to let them know he was sending proof of the Greens politician's New Zealand citizenship to the Clerk of the Senate.
It then took Senator Ludlam's office several days to contact the High Commission in New Zealand and verify the information was correct.
Internally, the Greens hold suspicions the barrister had contacts leak the documents from New Zealand authorities because the information was not publicly available.
"Recently it was brought to my attention that I hold dual citizenship of Australia and New Zealand," Senator Ludlam said today.
"It was brought to our attention a week ago while I was still overseas by someone who had done the digging, for whatever reason.
"It took a couple of days to confirm with the New Zealand High Commission that was the case."
Mr Cameron has not responded to calls this evening for comment.
Senator Ludlam said he was "personally devastated to learn that an avoidable oversight a decade ago" has forced him to quit politics.
Despite his denial of any knowledge about his Kiwi citizenship, a citizen started a petition on Change.org three years ago, raising questions about Senator Ludlam's citizenship.
"Scott Ludlams (sic) refusal (under Freedom of Information request) to provide his Form RN renouncing his New Zealand citizenship before being elected raises serious questions about his legality as a Member f Parliament," the petition states.
"Is this man really so incompetent that he can't even himself as an immigrant obey Constitutional Law 101? A technicality is a technicality but it's the law."
Explaining why the request would have been rejected, Mr Ludlam's office said a Freedom of Information laws only apply to ministers or departments, not to individual senators.
When parliament returns after the winter break, the Senate will refer Senator Ludlam's case to the Court of Disputed Returns in the High Court.
If the court determines Senator Ludlam's election was ineligible, as anticipated, the Department of Finance and Senate will calculate the debt of the salaries, benefits, travel allowance, staff and office costs he has received during the time in Parliament. This is at least $1.6 million in base salary alone.
Senator Ludlam can either repay the money, or apply to Special Minister of State Scott Ryan to have it waived.
The Greens in WA will then recount the ballot and their third candidate, Jordon Steele-John, a 22 year old university student, will be approached to take his seat.
Daily Telegraph understands he is under pressure not to accept the role, with the Greens' keen for two other candidates to fill the spot, including former Freo candidate Kate Davis and Greens convenor Christine Cunningham.
If he chooses not to take the position, a casual vacancy is declared and the party opens preselection, with any eligible candidates able to nominate.