AUSTRALIAN citizenship ceremonies are usually happy occasions, but in Liverpool a technicality has caused a division between Werriwa MP Laurie Ferguson and Liverpool mayor Ned Mannoun.
Mr Ferguson is angered that for the past three Australian citizenship ceremonies held in Liverpool he has been denied the right as a federal MP to give a speech.
"I've been in Parliament for 30 years both state and federal. This has never happened, to my mind, anywhere else in NSW and probably Australia," he said.
"Labor, Liberal or independent councillors — this has never happened before."
The Australian Citizenship Ceremonies Code notes that all elected local representatives at the federal, state or territory and local government level should over time have an opportunity to provide a welcoming speech to citizenship candidates.
In Liverpool there are three federal MPs.
"If they keep this up, I'm going to ask the federal government to take the power to [bestow] citizenship away from the council," Mr Ferguson said.
Liverpool Council received a visit from the Department of Immigration and Citizenship on Friday to discuss the matter.
Liverpool mayor Ned Mannoun argues Mr Ferguson has never asked him to speak and, if asked, he would "probably" have let him.
"I met with the department about this, they were very happy with what we're doing," Cr Mannoun said.
"I don't want a hundred speeches going on.
"I'm sorry that Laurie Ferguson has to politicise this rather than giving me a call.
"I'll now be creating a roster system so everyone gets a chance to talk.
"The department are happy with this — it complies with the guidelines and is very clear."