WHAT do we remember on Anzac Day? The arrival of the first free settlers from Great Britain?
What are the colours of the Australian Aboriginal Flag?
Which official symbol of Australia identifies Commonwealth property?
What happened in Australia on 1 January 1901?
Answer questions like these and other similar questions surrounding Australia and you could be on your way to passing the Australian citizenship quiz.
Take the quiz here.
But a massive shake-up announced this morning will make the test to become a citizen much more difficult, with migrants to be quizzed on their commitment to Australian values to weed out terrorists and criminals.
Some of the new questions include: “Can you strike your spouse in the privacy of your home?” and “Under what circumstances is it appropriate to prohibit girls from education?” the Daily Telegraph reports.
It comes as Labor slams Malcolm Turnbull’s tightening of the requirements for the Australian citizenship test, saying the Prime Minister is “trying to look like he’s doing something”.
Despite this, Bill Shorten says Labor hasn’t been fully briefed over the changes but would consider the options put out on the table.
Labor’s foreign affairs spokeswoman Penny Wong outlined the reasons why she considers the new test, where applicants face a stand-alone English test and commit to embracing Australian values, is pointless.
“The test is currently in English, it’s a test that was largely designed by John Howard, so I have to say this looks to me like the change you make when you want people to notice,” Ms Wong said.
“I don’t quite understand what he’s proposing, I mean frankly…
“What does our current pledge say? It says you pledge your loyalty to Australia and its people, ‘whose democratic beliefs I share, whose rights and liberties I respect, and whose laws I will uphold and obey’.
“That’s our current citizenship pledge. I think those current sentiments are pretty good.
“I saw some suggestion that there’d be questions about violence against women, well let’s remember that these are criminal acts that are proscribed by Australia’s criminal law.
“That is the harshest way of ensuring as far as we can, that these are values that people uphold.”
Mr Turnbull in reply said: “This is defending, reinforcing, Australian values ... what we’ve talked about this morning are values that we all agree with.
“No-one’s suggested that they’re wrong or mistaken. We all agree with them. We’re standing up for Australian values and the Parliament should do so too.
“It’s a question of whether you believe, you really believe, in the values that have made Australia the remarkable nation that it is.
“I’ve already heard people from the Labor Party criticising the proposition that you should have competent English. Really? Are they serious? I mean does anybody doubt that if you want to succeed, if you want to even have a chance of succeeding in Australia, you need to be able to speak English?”
“We look to the opposition to support this legislation.”
Opposition leader Bill Shorten said: “It’s not about a citizenship issue, it’s about Malcolm Turnbull desperate to save his own job.”
Deputy PM Barnaby Joyce replied: “You want to beat up your wife, you can’t become a citizen of this nation.”
Applicants will also be required to have lived in Australia as a permanent resident for at least four years (up from one year) and will only be allowed to fail the citizenship test three times.
At present, there is no limit to the number of times a person can fail the test.
Mr Turnbull’s citizenship crackdown, comes just two days after the prime minister outlined an overhaul of the 457 temporary foreign worker visa system.
“Membership of the Australian family is a privilege and should be afforded to those who support our values, respect our laws and want to work hard by integrating and contributing to an even better Australia,” he said.
“We must ensure that our citizenship program is conducted in our national interest.”
His government is also pursuing several other citizenship reforms, which will apply to all new applicants, including:
- Applicants must show the steps they have taken to integrate into and contribute to the Australian community (evidence of employment, membership of community organisations, school enrolment for all eligible children);
- The citizenship test will include “new and more meaningful questions” about an applicant’s understanding of and commitment to Australia’s shared values and responsibilities;
- Applicants who cheat during the citizenship test will automatically fail. Any conduct inconsistent with Australian values will be considered as part of the citizenship process.
- Criminal activity including family violence or involvement in organised crime is thoroughly inconsistent with Australian values,” Mr Turnbull said. Prospective citizens with a permanent or enduring incapacity, as well as those aged under 16, would be exempted from the English reading, writing and listening test.
More details about the new test are set to be announced later today but the Daily Telegraph reports applicants will be asked whether it is OK to beat their wives.
The Prime Minister said five million people had committed to becoming Australian citizens since 1949, helping to secure and enrich the nation. Immigration Minister Peter Dutton said the country should not be embarrassed to say it wants great people to call Australia home.
“We want people who abide by our laws and our values, and we should expect nothing less,” Mr Dutton said.
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