MEDIA RELEASE: The Government’s Citizenship Bill gets another condemning report

The Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights has released its report in to the Government’s proposed citizenship changes to the Australian Citizenship Legislation Amendment (Strengthening the Requirements for Australian Citizenship and Other Measures) Bill 2017.

The Committee sought additional advice from Peter Dutton when scrutinising the Bill and found in regard to the proposed university level English test “the measure appears likely to be incompatible with the right to equality and non-discrimination.”

The report also confirms Labor’s questions around the evidence base and rationale provided by the Government to justify the unfair measures, stating that some outcomes could be adverse to social cohesion and “concerns remain that the measure may not be rationally connected to its stated objective.”

Labor has objected to the changes because:

  • the English language requirements are snobbery – sending a message to all Australian’s that unless you have a university level English the Government doesn’t want you here, and
  • the proposed delays are harmful and unfair - leaving many potential citizens waiting for more than a decade before they are ever asked to pledge allegiance to Australia.

This is the second parliamentary report to raise concerns about the Bill.

It’s clear it was policy on the run by Peter Dutton that should be scrapped.

The committee is Chaired by Liberal MP Ian Goodenough and includes Mr Graham Perrett MP, Mr Russell Broadbent MP, Senator Carol Brown, Ms Madeleine King MP, Mr Julian Leeser MP, Senator Nick McKim, Senator Claire Moore, Senator James Paterson and Senator Linda Reynolds.


Tony Burke