Canavan claims he discovered that his mother made him a dual citizen of Italy without his knowledge 10 years ago. While the matter is being referred to the High Court, Canavan has stepped aside from his resources and Northern Australia portfolios, with National Party leader and Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce reportedly taking on Canavan's portfolios.
Depending on the decision of the High Court he may still return as Resources Minister.
Canavan has been outspoken on promoting the development of major resources projects such as Adani's A$16.5 billion Carmichael mine. He argued that the project would create desperately needed employment, especially in the north of Queensland where the economy was suffering because of a long running drought.
Ironically, one of the Adani project’s fiercest critics, Senator Larissa Waters, was forced to resign earlier this month when it was revealed that she held a Canadian dual citizenship.
Waters claimed that allowing the Carmichael mine to go ahead would contribute to global warming which would endanger the coral in the Great Barrier Reef.