Australia

Citizenship test: Peter Dutton calls on Bill Shorten to back changes

MALCOLM Turnbull is facing a fight on citizenship test changes with federal Labor politicians unanimously agreeing today to block the new laws.

Labor is now calling for a Senate inquiry into the citizenship law changes.

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton pre-empted the announcement earlier today, calling on Labor leader Bill Shorten to “step up” and “show leadership” over the citizenship test overhaul, while slamming the party’s track record on border protection.

The Immigration Minister said it was “a reasonable ask” to require new citizens to demonstrate Australian values and a competent grasp of English.

Peter Dutton says it’s “a reasonable ask” to ensure new citizens had a competent grasp of English. Picture: Kym Smith

Peter Dutton says it’s “a reasonable ask” to ensure new citizens had a competent grasp of English. Picture: Kym SmithSource:News Corp Australia

CITIZENSHIP TEST: Labor slams tough new changes

“I’m hoping that common sense prevails, Mr Shorten steps up and stares down the left of his party because the vast majority of Australians support the sensible changes we’re proposing,” Mr Dutton told reporters in Canberra this morning.

Under the changes, migrants applying for Australian citizenship would have to sit a test that would require them to demonstrate a university-level grasp of English.

Applicants would also have to sit a test asking them to demonstrate Australian values.

Federal Labor politicians are expected to agree on whether to block the citizenship law changes when they meet for their regular party meeting today.

Labor MPs will decide whether to block or back the changes today. Picture: Kym Smith

Labor MPs will decide whether to block or back the changes today. Picture: Kym SmithSource:News Corp Australia

A number of Labor MPs have publicly questioned the need to change language requirements and make permanent residents wait four years before seeking citizenship.

Ahead of the debate, Labor frontbencher Linda Burney said questioned claims migrants would need to have university level English.

“Is that really fair for people who are escaping terrible situations,” she told the ABC’s Q & A program.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced the citizenship test changes in April, one day after announcing sweeping changes to the nation’s working migrant visa programs.

MALCOLM Turnbull is facing a fight on citizenship test changes with federal Labor politicians unanimously agreeing today to block the new laws.

Source: Citizenship test: Peter Dutton calls on Bill Shorten to back changes

Rob Bronson

Uncensored and Unvarnished

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