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Dodson aggrieved over Lambie's resignation

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November 14, 2017

Senator Pat Dodson says Jacqui Lambie's resignation reinforces the case for constitutional reform.

Indigenous senator Pat Dodson has made an emotional plea for constitutional reform after Jacqui Lambie was forced to quit parliament over dual citizenship.

Senator Lambie, who is indigenous, announced her resignation to parliament on Tuesday after the British Home Office confirmed she holds UK citizenship through her Scottish-born father.

Senator Dodson choked up as he told parliament he was aggrieved to see an indigenous parliamentarian forced out by the constitution.

"We have a senator who has come from a terrible history of genocide and denial on the one side--and on the Scottish side, no doubt, has links to Braveheart and other people," the Labor senator told parliament.

"It's an absolute tragedy that our constitution was written by all these white folks who never bothered to consider and incorporate the first peoples in it."

Senator Dodson said the constitutional crisis was a chance to consider indigenous recognition.

There have been calls for a referendum to change section 44 to allow people who don't actively seek dual citizenship to be eligible for parliament.

"For so many conservatives in this part of the world, it is a case of 'if it isn't broken, don't fix it'," Senator Dodson said.

"Well, friends, we've got some issues here.

"Today is a reminder that that side of Jacqui's heritage is also being denied, as well as her rights as an Australian who fought for this country."

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