I was totally unaware of the inquiry into s44(i-v) I would like to make a submission on the matter as I feel it is a very important issue.
My opinion is the events that have occurred in relation to s44(i-v) compliance not only vindicate those who wrote the Australian Constitution, they also highlight the lack of oversight some of our laws have. The behaviour of our parliament regarding compliance has been ad-hoc at best.
I was a candidate in the 2016 federal election for the Senate in Victoria. As a political candidate, I looked over s44(i-v) Seeing how many have failed to exercise the same care when making their declaration is upsetting on a couple of fronts.
The first being ineligible candidates that are elected take up positions that are not rightfully theirs. They also are able to game the system & remain in our parliament unchallenged unless caught in the window that disputed returns currently allows. I know of several MPs & Senators who are ineligible yet still collect the pay knowing they are not compliant.
Depending on rulings & interpretation up to 70 could be ineligible. Then there are the MPs & Senators using family trusts and offshore tax havens. How can anyone know definitively that they are not winning contracts subsidies and grants as their investments are more clandestine than most?
My suggestion would be to keep the laws as they were written. They are doing their job. The oversight is what needs to be addressed. I am of the opinion every candidate should go through an audit to prove they are compliant with s44(i-v). If you cannot show you comply you should not be signing a declaration.