Tougher citizenship test won’t save Do-nothing Malcolm

By Leith van Onselen

As reported in The Australian today, the Turnbull Government will impose stricter rules for foreigners seeking to become Australian citizens, as part of its package of changes to immigration and visa rules.

Amongst other things, people applying for citizenship will have to demonstrate adherence with “Australian values”, while they will be subject to stricter criminal background checks and have better English-language skills than required at present. People will also not be eligible for citizenship unless they have resided in Australia for a minimum of four years:

The Turnbull government has embarked on a wholesale redrafting of Australia’s citizenship laws that will force applicants to pass a ­higher-standard English language test, extend the residency requirement from one year to four, and demand evidence of integration including employment, tax payments and schooling for children.

The changes would abolish the current system that allows unlimited attempts to pass the citizenship test, imposing a two-year denial if an applicant failed three attempts and an automatic fail for those who tried to cheat the test.

The new citizenship model will also explicitly target religious extremism as being inconsistent with Australian values…

The requirement of English proficiency is based on an integration principle. and would elevate the current “basic” English requirement to “competent” including speaking, reading and writing skills…

The Australian can reveal that they will come into effect today and be backdated for all new applications made once amended legislation passes parliament later this year…

These are modest but sensible changes that align with recommendations from the Productivity Commission’s (PC) recent Migrant Intake into Australia report.

In this report, the PC noted “the fundamental importance of strong English-language skills for an immigrant’s integration and wellbeing in Australia” and explicitly recommended “significant reforms within the current system” that “‘raising the bar’ by shifting to a universal
points test while tightening entry requirements relating to age, skills and English-language proficiency”.

It quite frankly beggars belief that strong English-language proficiency was never required in the first place to obtain permanent residency. I would have thought that being able to competently speak, read and write in English would have been a fundamental requirement, given it is our national language.

That said, while improving the quality of migrants residing in Australia is undoubtedly important, the Turnbull Government has yet to address the more fundamental issue of Australia’s permanent migration level being far too high. It is this high intake that is causing widespread indigestion in the major capitals via crush-loading economic and social infrastructure (e.g. the road and public transport systems, schools and hospitals), making housing less affordable, not to mention damaging Australia’s natural environment and diluting Australia’s mineral wealth.

Australia’s permanent intake is currently set at around 200,000 (including just under 15,000 via the humanitarian intake), and is well over double the level that existed at the turn of the century:

Unless this permanent migrant intake is halved, population pressures and resentment will continue to grow within the electorate, ultimately leading to a voter backlash against immigration. Nudging entry criteria around will not change the lived experience.

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  1. Stephen Morris

    Optimal “movement zones” like optimal “currency zones” require members with similar economic conditions.

  2. Blather about stronger citizenship requirements, especially ‘integration’ tests seems to support strongly the idea this a dog whistle with the explicit purpose of avoiding genuine action – and by framing it as an Aussie values thing the chance of a discussion of numbers and therefore cuts to PR visas falls .

      • The voters who can hear the whistle don’t trust Turnbull and can smell bullsh!t a mile off. I’m not saying this is bullsh!t. But I suspect only cuts will convince them it is real.

    • Completely a dog whistle. Elevating English from basic to competent is not the same as requiring strong English skills as recommended by Productivity Commission. The planned values test is idiotic. You can just lie. How can it ever be shown that you lied? If caught out later, you’d just say your values changed.

      • +1 Truly farcical
        Grand theatre for the morons
        Cutting the migration intake is the last thing “Big Australia” Malcolm wants to do

      • Obviously. But the point is to fool the ON dopes into thinking that the test will keep Muslims out of the country.

    • Ronin8317MEMBER

      Watching Malcolm Turnbull changing into Tony Abbott is the real life version of ‘Picture of Dorian Gray’. While it may be dog whistle, the 4 year makes the option a lot less attractive.

  3. Enough with the window dressing and bullshit Malcolm.
    Are you reducing the NOM or not?

  4. so every time Tony appears on his fortnightly radio show we should expect Malcolm to talk even tougher on anything in order to neutralise him. This is sad on how Tony can provoke Malcolm to react. It just shows how vulnerable Malcolm is and how easy it is for the lunatics to control him.
    These measures have nothing to do with policy – this is pure survival exercise.

  5. ” the Turnbull Government has yet to address the more fundamental issue of Australia’s permanent migration level being far too high. ”

    Baby steps. If they do cut immigration they will want to get maximum “wedge” value for it against the ALP.

  6. reusachtigeMEMBER

    Australia is underpopulated and a bit boring at times. It needs more people and the vibrancy that brings (along with the demand for housing which helps increase profits). The right sort of people should be allowed to purchase citizenship as long as they also purchase a house so as to keep the market booming!

      • proofreadersMEMBER

        Very true. You could be an axe murderer but provided you worshipped this, effectively the only Strayan, value, you would deserve citizenship.

  7. I’m here, not a citizen and no desire to become one. It’s a mute policy, permanent residents are citizens minus the right to vote for crap politicians.

    • pingupenguinMEMBER

      A *moot* point. Just sayin’

      moot – adjective
      subject to debate, dispute, or uncertainty.
      “whether the temperature rise was mainly due to the greenhouse effect was a moot point”

      mute – adjective
      refraining from speech or temporarily speechless.
      “Harry sat mute, his cheeks burning resentfully”

      • haroldusMEMBER

        moot – noun
        1.“Don’t point that moot at me”
        2. “haroldus sat on his moot, his vagina burning resentfully”

    • Yes, a lot of migrants here are permanent residents and do not want citizenship. This is especially the case with the Chinese, as they’d lose their Chinese citizenship if they become citizens here. Most do not want to give up their Chinese citizenship.

      • Most do not want to give up their Chinese citizenship.

        But they are only too happy to own Australian property, I reckon they should pick 1 but not both. Shouldn’t be able to have their cake and eat it.

      • “But they are only too happy to own Australian property, I reckon they should pick 1 but not both. Shouldn’t be able to have their cake and eat it.”

        I guess you never thought that they may be open for abuse in China if they denounce their citizenshp there?
        Maybe their broad family members too?
        Perhaps thay can be stripped of asset ownership too?

        Being a resident of a limited nature is severely different from being a permanent resident or a citizen.
        Permanent residency overcomes difficulties of protecting the prosecuted or otherwise disadvantaged people whom commitment to Australia – a true “Australian Value”..

    • “permanent residents are citizens minus plus the right to not vote for crap politicians.”

      there, I corrected to what is the greatest benefit of them all.
      Worth the resident return visa cost.

      Unfortunately, many will be now forced to register their committment to this country.
      Because the next step towards the ultra-right is removing the permanent residency completely.

  8. If Australia wants to put Labor back in I don’t think immigration is really an issue. More like Australians want the property gravy train to keep running whilst getting more handouts. Albeit it curbed a bit via negative gearing changes.

    An issue for Hanson voters but maybe not. Maybe they just don’t want Muslims. I would imagine people in those remote QLD towns would want tonnes more people.

  9. Shorten on ABC TV last night was pathetic. His only answer to every question was that he would do independent labour market testing. Can’t he see the opportunity that there’s for the taking? Fair dinkum couldn’t get a root in a [email protected]%house!

  10. The first question should be “Are you dumb enough to tell the truth when answering these questions on beliefs if an honest answer you shall give will result in you failing the test?”

  11. TailorTrashMEMBER

    I have no doubt that the English test and the “Australian Values” thing will be treated with the contempt,scorn,lying ,cheating and general rorting that all other aspects of immigration, “education ” and housing acquisition has become in this failing country. We have imported a growing culture of corruption and that along with slumification of our once beautiful cities is the way forward .
    Neither this current government or Bill Fallshortman have what it takes to call a halt and reset that is needed before this country is irretrievably changed. Pauline has not got the ability either so we are adrift with no direction .
    There have been good prime ministers in the past so where is the next one hiding ?………is there some giant hidden on the back benchs that we have not yet seen?…….hope so ……time is running out ……

  12. How does making the citizenship test harder reduce the number of immigrants? It doesn’t.
    How does making English language test harder for people who are already permanent resident harder reduce the number of immigrants? It doesn’t.

    These moves are political, not economic. This is a lurch to the right and has nothing to do with any of the reasons noted by MB for reducing the immigrant intake and everything to do with regaining the one nation / hard right vote.

    • SchillersMEMBER

      Agree. Definitely political. Don’t think it will sway many votes though. Some for sure, not a lot.


      “The immigrants most likely to be affected are those who have come on humanitarian visas, since those who arrive with work or study visas already must pass rigorous English tests.”

      “Under the new rules, which must be approved by Parliament, three failures would mean the end of a person’s attempt to become a citizen. Those who are most likely to fail and keep trying, according to the figures: immigrants who reached Australia as refugees.”

      Not a bad article considering it comes from NYT

      Why ‘Australian values’ have a long, racist history []

      University of Melbourne anthropology and social theory Professor Ghassan Hage told SBS News debates about Australian values have followed a very familiar pattern throughout history.

      “This exercise of talking about values in Australia has a long history,” he said.

      “And it is always a racist history: that is, talking about values is always an attempt first, at comforting some white minority who is feeling down and gets a bit high on thinking that they have something special called ‘values’ and second, at hurting a non-white minority by making it feel to be lacking something.”

  13. No Muslim – migrant or born here can swear or commit to ‘Australian values’ of democracy, secularism, tolerance.
    Islam (submission) strictly forbids this.
    The Muslim can only have allegiance to the theocratic Islamic political military legal and social ideology.
    This is called sharia (the way) and it is very clear on this point.
    Islam has a concept called the covenant where any Muslim in a non Islamic society is bound to only ‘minimally comply’ to any laws and to evade if possible the values of that society if contrary to Islam.

    (Values such as Democracy, secular freedom, gender & racial equality, non polygamy, female education, LGBT, equality before the law etc).

    But the Muslim can never support or ‘uphold’ any of these values.

    That is clearly & expressly forbidden in many Islamic rulings : and if a Muslim did that, then they are an apostate or Takfiri and to be killed by other Muslims.

    Islam instructs that the Muslim must lie or deceive
    Taqiyya) and only ‘pretend to follow or uphold such values’ to allow the Muslim to subvert, overthrow, destroy & subjugate the non Muslim nation to be under Islam & sharia (jihad or the struggle).
    No Muslim can befriend a non Muslim or tolerate a non believer of Islam as an equal.

    Every Muslim is instructed by Islamic ideology to infiltrate, subvert & overthrow all non shariah nations and murder or place all non Muslims under Islamic enslavement.

    Islam & Quran rulings.
    Quran (16:106) – Establishes the rules and basis that “compel” Muslims to lie.

    Quran (3:28) – This verse tells Muslims not to have any non Muslims as friends, but they can pretend to “guard themselves” against danger, meaning that Muslim can only fake friendship to non-Muslims, but not feel that way.

    Quran (9:3) – “…Allah and His Messenger are free from liability to the idolaters…” The dissolution of oaths with the pagans who remained at Mecca following its capture.

    Quran (40:28) – A man is introduced as a believer, who had to “hide his faith” among those who are not believers.

    Quran (2:225) – “Allah will not call you to account for thoughtlessness in your oaths, but for the intention in your hearts”

    Quran (3:54) – “And they (the disbelievers) schemed, and Allah schemed (against them): and Allah is the best of schemers.” The Arabic word used here for scheme (or plot) is makara, which literally means ‘deceit’. Allah is the role model of being supremely deceitful toward unbelievers, so all Muslims must do the same. (See also 8:30 and 10:21)
    These Quran verses are interpreted by the scholars, educators and parents to teach and train all young Muslims from the age of speaking (2 or 3 years old) that the Muslim is “compelled” to lie, deceive or mislead non Muslims for the purpose of defending or advancing Islam.

    Hadith and Sira
    Sahih Bukhari (49:857) – “He who makes peace between the people by inventing good information or saying good things, is not a liar.” All forms of lying are permitted when the end justifies the means.

    Sahih Bukhari (84:64-65) – Speaking from a position of authority, Ali confirms lying is permitted in order to deceive an “enemy.”

    From Islamic Law:

    Reliance of the Traveler (p. 746 – 8.2) – “Speaking is a means to achieve objectives.
    If a praiseworthy aim is attainable through both telling the truth and lying, it is unlawful to accomplish through lying because there is no need for it.
    When it is possible to achieve such an aim by lying but not by telling the truth, it is permissible to lie if attaining the goal is permissible (N:i.e. when the purpose of lying is to circumvent someone who is preventing one from doing something permissible), and obligatory to lie if the goal is obligatory… it is religiously precautionary in all cases to employ words that give a misleading impression… 

    “One should compare the bad consequences entailed by lying to those entailed by telling the truth, and if the consequences of telling the truth are more damaging, one is entitled to lie.”

    Forms of Muslim lying.
    Muslims are allowed to lie to unbelievers in order to defeat them.
    There are several forms:

    Taqiyya – Saying something that isn’t true as it relates to the Muslim identity.

    Kitman – Lying by omission. An example would be when Muslim apologists quote only a fragment of verse 5:32 (that if anyone kills “it shall be as if he had killed all mankind”) while neglecting to mention that the rest of the verse (and the next) mandate murder in undefined cases of “corruption” and “mischief.”

    Tawriya – Intentionally creating a false impression.

    Muruna – ‘Blending in’ by setting aside some practices of Islam or Sharia in order to advance others.

    Islam dictates that any promises or agreements made to non-Muslim are distinctly non-binding in the Muslim mindset and that no penalty exists.

  14. Q. Can a Muslim co-exist in a non Islamic nation and swear to uphold and follow that non Islamic nations laws and values as Mr Turnbull suggests ?

    A. No. The Muslim can only pretend to or minimally comply with a non Islamic nation laws or values until they can infiltrate, subvert and then overthrow that nation.

    Islamic Ruling.
    It is not permissible for a Muslim to swear an oath of allegiance or support any non sharee’ah law or form of government, unless that will advance or defend Islam to change the system to one that operates according to the sharee’ah of Islam, and they are using this as a means to overthrow the system of government to implement Islamic sharee’ah.”
- The scholars of the Standing Committee for Issuing Fatwas (Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz, Shaykh ‘Abd al-Razzaaq ‘Afeefi, Shaykh ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Ghadyaan, Shaykh ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Qa’ood)

    No Muslim can swear to ‘uphold’ or defend our values, constitution or secular democracy.

    “Democracy is a system that is contrary to Islam (because) legislative authority is given to someone other than Allah, may He be exalted.

    In these systems legislation has been promulgated allowing such errors as freedom of expression and equality between races, genders and beliefs.

    This all defies Allah who instructs that the world is only to be Islamic in ideology and government and that Muslims will subjugate the kafir (non Muslims) as slaves under Islamic sharia rule globally.

    Allah specifically rules a woman is not equal to a man and that all leadership is from the caliphate and only those that have divine guidance.

    These western systems also legislate vaccination, non halal food, abortion, pornography, tasweer (graven images), and immodesty in dress. This defies Allah.

    They also allow lesbian & homosexuality, as well as same-sex marriage and usurious interest (riba); the rulings of sharee‘ah have been abolished; and the fornication/adultery and the drinking of alcohol and consuming of tobacco and other haram substances is permitted and that also defies Allah.

    All these secular democratic systems are sinful and at war with Islam and the Muslim follower.

    Every Muslim within those nations must apply the mechanism of Taqiyya (deceit and omission to defend or promote Islam) to pretend to comply, and to then infiltrate, subvert, and overthrow that system to replace it with Islamic sharia as their jihad and Muslim obligation.

    Allah knows best.

    – Shaykh Muhammad Saalih al-Munajid