FEDERAL MEMBER for Maranoa David Littleproud has welcomed immigration minister Peter Dutton’s calls for a tougher citizenship test following concerns Australia’s short- term visa pathways were being exploited by terrorists seeking access to Australia.
While most new Australians integrated well and upheld Australian values, sophisticated terrorist activity risked undermining the current citizenship test, which required applicants to respond correctly to 15 out of 20 questions relating to Australia’s history and culture, he said.
“I think Minister Dutton makes a lot of sense,” the MP said in a press release. “In this day and age, relying on outdated questions that seem trivial against the questions we should genuinely hold of a potential Australian’s character and their values.
“It is absolutely crucial that a new Australian citizen is able to integrate into and contribute to our nation and it is just as important that Australians have confidence in the process that determines whether someone is a suitable candidate for such an important privilege.”
Dutton has proposed a new test be designed to better gauge an applicant’s willingness to learn English, provide a proper education for their children and how likely the applicant is to rely on government welfare. “At the end of the day while we have secure borders that are the envy of most European countries, this is really about making sure Australians continue to feel safe,” David said. “I am strongly supportive of any move by our government to make the revamping of our citizenship rules a priority when we head back to Canberra next month.”