Matt Canavan Statement: In 2006, my mother lodged documents with the Italian consulate in Brisbane to become an Italian citizen. In doing so, it would appear that she made an application for me to become an Italian citizen as well. I was 25 years old at the time.
While I knew that my mother had become an Italian citizen I had no knowledge that I myself had become an Italian citizen. Until last week I had no suspicion that I could be an Italian citizen. I was not born in Italy and have never been to Italy.
The Italian authorities have confirmed that the application for Italian citizenship was not signed by me. To my knowledge I have not received any correspondence from Italian authorities about my citizenship status, and they have not been able to provide any such records.
In the short time available I have not been able to obtain definitive legal advice as to whether my registration as an Italian citizen, without my knowledge or consent, was valid under Italian law. I am seeking to obtain that advice presently.
On the basis of the advice the Government has obtained it is not my intention to resign from the Senate.
However, given the uncertainty raised by this matter, I will stand aside until the matter is finally resolved, and resign as the Minister for Resources and Northern Australia.
I want to thank everybody for their support and assistance in the past three years and I will fight on.