Joining a Rotary Club could be enough for a migrant to demonstrate to the federal government that they’re integrating into Australian society, Citizenship Minister Alan Tudge says. (Photo: Aaron Francis)
Oz Kiwi opinion
Citizenship Minister Alan Tudge is setting the scene for the Government to have another go at amending citizenship requirements. Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has previously indicated he wants to implement the proposed changes by 1 July 2018.
Migrants must integrate, says minister
12 March 2018
Karen Sweeny – The Australian
The citizenship minister says there are indications Australia’s not doing as well as it has in the past on developing a multicultural society and migrants must integrate, not separate.
He’s in talks with crossbench MPs to garner support for a renewed push by the government to reintroduce citizenship laws shot down in the Senate last year.
That includes an English language test and a demonstration by migrants that they’re committed to Australian values and integrating themselves into society.
Typically migrants are in the country for three to four years before coming a citizen, so that’s when the effort should be made, Mr Tudge believes.
Migrants must be able to speak, read and write in English to improve their chances of getting a job and taking advantages of the opportunity Australia has to offer, he says.
“In addition … we want to have migrants demonstrate that they’ve made an effort to integrate before they become a citizen,” he said.
“That could be as simple as sending your kids to school, endeavouring to get work rather than always being on welfare and also involving yourself in the community because you’ve joined the local soccer club or Rotary Club.”
Mr Tudge has warned failures to achieve integration could lead to separatism, where enclaves of migrants don’t adhere to national values or speak a common language.
In a speech last week the minister warned “ethnic separatism” was shaking Australia to its core.
[Read The Australian article, may be behind a pay wall].