The majority voted in favour of of the main idea of the bill. In parliamentary language, they voted to give the bill a second reading. The senators will now discuss the bill in more detail.
What is the bill's main idea?
The main idea of the bill is to remove the Australian citizenship of a dual national in certain situations, including if they fight for or serve a terrorist organisation (read more in the bills digest and ABC News).
Concerns about the bill
The senators who opposed the main idea of the bill had several concerns, including the following:
- Senator Jacqui Lambie is concerned that the bill gives the power to revoke citizenship to a politician (the minister) rather than "an impartial judicial process" and she is concerned about how the bill will apply to the Australian Kurdish community (read her full speech);
- Senator Nick Xenophon is concerned that the bill "will not make Australians safer" and believes it would be better where possible to ensure potential terrorists "are dragged back to this country to face trial and a lengthy period of imprisonment" rather than being free to potentially attack overseas Australians or other innocent people (read his whole speech);
- Senator David Leyonhjelm is concerned that the bill further "erode[s] the rights and freedoms of Australians" (read his full speech);
- Senator Nick McKim said the Australian Greens "believe that citizenship is too precious a gift and confers too many important rights to be effectively stripped at the whim of a government or at the whim of a minister" (read his full speech).
You can read the entire debate in the lead up to this vote on OpenAustralia.