Liberal senator Arthur Sinodinos has criticised the Liberal Party for a fundraising email which uses the issue of removing Australian citizenship from dual national terrorists as an incentive to donate.
‘Donate now to support a safer Australia’ is the theme of the email, circulated by the Liberal’s Victorian division, and quotes Prime Minister Tony Abbott, saying: “Terrorists who are dual nationals will have their citizenship stripped.”
The copy continues with a request for funds. “With a federal election due next year donations are critical to allow the Abbott government to continue on with the job of keeping Australia safe.”
Speaking to Sky News, Senator Sinodinos said “it’s not appropriate” and “not a good look” to exploit the issue for financial gain, particularly as the Abbott government is seeking bipartisan support to pass laws regarding national security.
On Wednesday the government tabled its controversial bill to strip terrorists of Australian citizenship, with Immigration Minister Peter Dutton describing the measure as a response to the need to “modernise provisions concerning loss of citizenship to respond to current terrorist threats”.
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has expressed his support for the bill, saying that “we will do what is necessary to fight terror abroad and at home”, and that Labor would also consider the potential for retrospective application of the law.
The prime minister has said that individuals who leave Australia to fight for terrorist groups “have committed the modern form of treason and perhaps we need a modern form of banishment to deal with such people”, adding that “most Australians” view the issue in a similar manner.