New test of what it means to be Aussie

 

Would-be Australians will need to study up on the concept of "a fair go" and mateship, learn that same-sex marriage is legal and that a 15-year-old cannot consent to sex, under a values-based citizenship test.

Acting immigration Minister Alan Tudge will announce details of the overhaul on Thursday, Australian citizenship day, while questions about "Australian values" will be introduced for the first time.

From November 15, five out of the 20 multiple choice questions on the citizenship test will be about values, and people will need to get all five right to pass.

A new section on Australian values will be added to the booklet that those seeking to become Australians are required to study.

It includes advice that "you should follow the law even if no one is watching", as well as sections on freedom of speech, religion, equality, "opportunity and a fair go" and mateship.

Acting Immigration Minister Alan Tudge will today announce a new “Australian values” section of the Australian citizenship test. Picture: Hamish Blair
Acting Immigration Minister Alan Tudge will today announce a new “Australian values” section of the Australian citizenship test. Picture: Hamish Blair

A previous attempt to add Australian values into the citizenship test was knocked back by the Senate in 2017, with a proposed English language test the hang up.

But the new plan has dropped the language test, meaning the questions can be added without going through Parliament.

Mr Tudge, who hinted at the new test last month, said Australian values questions would be more meaningful, adding to the current test focused on history and government.

 

"Our Australian values are important. They have helped shape our country and they are the

reason why so many people want to become Australian citizens," he said.

"We are asking those who apply for citizenship to understand our values more deeply before

they make the ultimate commitment to our nation."

Values-based questions to be asked include: should people in Australia make an effort to learn English, are people free to choose who they marry or not marry and is it acceptable for a husband to be violent towards his wife if she has disobeyed or disrespected him.

The values section of the citizenship booklet, Our Common Bond, also states that religious laws do not have legal status in Australia, polygamy and forced marriage are illegal, while divorce is acceptable.

The section on tolerance and respect discusses the age of sexual consent, warns against violence, including verbal and physical abuse, while stating racially abusive comments are not tolerated online, in public places or sporting events.

The overall pass rate for the 20-question test will remain 75 per cent.

There have been 94,000 Queenslanders become Australian citizens in the past five years, including more than 5600 since the end of June.

 

 

 

 

 

Originally published as New test of what it means to be Aussie



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