Eyebrow-raising questions in new citizenship test

 

 

Would-be Aussies could be asked if it is acceptable to strike your spouse or if it's OK to prohibit girls from education, under a revamped values-based citizenship test.

Acting Immigration Minister Alan Tudge will reveal plans to revive a new citizenship test that will be focused more on Australian values.

While a bid for a similar plan under the Turnbull Government was shot down in 2017, the new bid has dropped the "big stick" of needing to pass an English test to get your citizenship.

Instead there will be strong encouragement for migrants to take up English classes, with more free tutorials provided in an expansion of the existing $1 billion program.

 

Acting Immigration Minister Alan Tudge is proposing an Australian values-based citizenship test. Picture: Martin Ollman/NCA NewsWire
Acting Immigration Minister Alan Tudge is proposing an Australian values-based citizenship test. Picture: Martin Ollman/NCA NewsWire

The questions put forward under the previously proposed values-based citizenship test included, do you think it's appropriate to strike your spouse and does Australia's principle of freedom of religion mean that in some situations it is permissible to force children to marry.

Details on specific questions under the new proposed test are yet to be revealed.

Mr Tudge will today confirm the test will be updated with new questions on Australian values, but that further details are not expected until next month.

"The stronger focus on Australian values in citizenship testing will be an important part of helping protect our social cohesion into the future," he will said.

"Australian citizenship is both a privilege and a responsibility, and it should be granted to those who support our values, respect our laws, and want to contribute to Australia's future.

"We should ensure that those who come here and those who want to settle here clearly understand, and are willing to commit to, the shared common values that unite us all as Australians."

It can be confirmed there will be no requirement for citizenship applicants to complete an English language test, which was one of the greatest criticism of the previous proposal.

There are about $1 billion spent providing English lessons to migrants in Australia each year, which is capped at 510 hours over five years per person.

An Australia Day citizenship ceremony. The Morrison Government is proposing new values-based citizenship test questions.
An Australia Day citizenship ceremony. The Morrison Government is proposing new values-based citizenship test questions.

Mr Tudge will announce a plan to uncap the classes in terms of hours and time limits, so they will be available until a person has reached at least vocational level English skills.

"Without English language skills, migrants are less likely to get a job, less likely to integrate, and less likely to participate in our democracy," Mr Tudge will say.

Originally published as Eyebrow-raising questions in new citizenship test



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