MEDIA RELEASE: Citizenship inquiry concludes with Dutton's position in shreds
Today the Citizenship Bill inquiry hearings were held in Brisbane. We heard that:
• Over 10,000 community submissions have been received that oppose the proposed changes and only 2 have been received in favour of the changes: Peter Dutton’s Department & the Australian Monarchist League
• Peter Dutton’s department told the Inquiry that migrants doing the Government-funded English language training course will fail the proposed new university level English test for citizenship. The Inquiry was told that potential citizens needed to use a ‘self agency'
• Peter Dutton said that the citizenship changes are needed to enhance Australia’s national security, but his Department couldn’t give the Inquiry any evidence that national security agencies such as ASIO or the AFP have sought to update the citizenship legislation for reason of national security.
• Migrants will face an unfair extension of the time they must wait to apply for citizenship and must possess university level English to become a citizen.
• Peter Dutton’s department has not done any modelling on the effect of the new laws on foreign students.
• Out of the 199,151 applications for citizenship over 2016-2017, 113,388 came from the skilled visa stream, while 51,549 were under the family stream, 19,860 humanitarian and 14,000 received under 'other'.
Today’s hearing shows that this Government has no basis for these changes and is still not listening to the community about the impact these changes will have on modern multicultural Australia.
THE HON TONY BURKE MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR THE ENVIRONMENT AND WATER
SHADOW MINISTER FOR CITIZENSHIP AND MULTICULTURAL AUSTRALIA
SHADOW MINISTER FOR THE ARTS
MEMBER FOR WATSON
LABOR SENATOR FOR QUEENSLAND