Coalition abandons tougher English test for migrants

By Leith van Onselen

This time last year, the Coalition was said to be considering a basic English test for all new permanent migrants amid concerns that by 2021, more than one million ­people in Australia could have ­little or no English skills:

The move to consider mandating English language tests beyond citizenship applicants and apply a basic conversational language requirement to all new permanent residents — of whom there are more than 200,000 a year — will be flagged today by Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs Minister Alan Tudge as a move aimed at addressing concerns over social integration.

It follows warnings this year that Australia is at risk of drifting towards the European model of multiculturalism, where “parallel” communities have emerged.

An absence of English language skills among migrants and asylum-seekers has been cited in research as being one key driver of social fragmentation. Analysis of census data shows that, on current growth rates, Australia will be home to one million people who do not speak English or don’t speak English well by 2021…

Today, the Courier Mail reports that the Coalition has abandoned plans to tighten English language requirements for migrants seeking to become citizens:

About 1200 migrants who failed the test three times in the same year nevertheless became new Australians in 2018.

The Courier-Mail can now reveal that the Federal Government will not toughen up the test, which would have banned people taking the test for two years if they failed three times, required an English test and asked questions on “Australian values”…

It is understood the Government has no plans to proceed with the previously proposed changes.

Labor’s shadow Minister for Open Borders Home Affairs spokesperson, Kristina Keneally, congratulated “multicultural Australia” for “standing up” to the government:

The Productivity Commission’s Migrant Intake into Australia report explicitly 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” and “‘raising the bar’ by shifting to a universal points test while tightening entry requirements relating to age, skills and English-language proficiency”.

In principle, it makes perfect sense for prospective migrants and citizens to be required to speak and read English. It is Australia’s national language and being able to understand and effectively communicate in English is central to integrating into the broader community, gaining employment, as well as to fulfil the responsibilities of residency.

That said, mandating English language proficiency is a second order issue to lowering Australia’s turbo-charged immigration intake to more sensible and sustainable levels.

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  1. I keep thinking our gummint and other institutions couldn’t be any more stupid or corrupt. And then…

  2. Stewie GriffinMEMBER

    “Labor’s shadow Minister for Open Borders Home Affairs spokesperson, Kristina Keneally, congratulated “multicultural Australia” for “standing up” to the government:”

    Time for some Integrationist Australians to start to stand up and object to this bullshyt.

      • Stewie GriffinMEMBER

        The Labor Party are the enemy of the Australian people and Australian workers in particular.

    • You do realise Kristina Kenneally was the Minister for Planning in 2009 when the Mascot Towers was built!!!!!

      Can the MSM pick this up – everything she touches turns to muck.

  3. Even StevenMEMBER

    The Labor party is completely captured by bleeding heart lefties. Why bother having a country if we can’t impose anything higher than kindergarten English because … racist.

    I despair.

  4. At this rate the people who don’t speak English will outnumber the English speaking citizens. Soon the national language will be mandarin! Got to love globalisation.

    • The good news is that globalisation appears to be going into reverse and we (everyone except straya/nz, that is) is becoming isolationist. We just need to get on that bandwagon … and soon.

  5. Define ‘don’t speak English well’.

    Surely the number is way, way higher than 1,000,000. I’m sure the bar is pretty low. What most of us consider to be zero English skills would easily pass as being fluent under the fed’s classifications.

  6. DreadnotMEMBER

    Our education system is an abject failure. Every Australian should be given the opportunity to be multilingual in at least three languages, the local indigenous language, a choice of Mandarin, Cantonese, Bahasa or Hindi, and English. Only then will we be truly multicultural with endless prosperity.

  7. Immigrants should be required to pass the English test before they are let into “uni”. Not after they have “graduated” and are trying to get an Aussie passport.

    • What about the Sri Lankan Biloela ‘refugees’?

      There are ‘fears’ for the two year old girl’s health – problem, tooth decay. Looks like the loving family gave too much sugar loving to the child.

      And it’s been proven time and again that the family are not refugees, but MSM keeps the spin going.

  8. Unbelievable hey?
    Open borders to the third world to enter, live & work illegally – and be our welfare & healthcare burden in vast foreign criminal run, owned & occupied migrant slum enclaves.