Thursday, 17 September 2020

Door stop, Australian Citizenship Test


ALAN TUDGE: Today we're announcing that we're going to be updating the Australian citizenship test. Now this is a test which has been around for many years now which all applicants to become Australian citizens must sit and must pass. The key change which we're announcing today is that we'll be placing much greater emphasis on Australian values in the citizenship test and away from just core facts and figures. Now what I mean by that is it will be questions in relation to our parliamentary democracy, and freedom of speech, equality of men and women, rather than questions on Don Bradman or Phar Lap as such.

Now, these are important because our Australian values at the end of the day is what makes this country so attractive for migrants from around the world to want to come here, but they're also critical because they're the glue that binds us all together. So this test, this new test will come into effect from the middle of November. And this guide has been updated as well. And it's this guide which provides the background about our parliamentary system, our democracy and other key elements of Australian life. And what we ask is that new citizen applicants download this guide, study it deeply before they sit the test.

In some respects, the test is not the most important thing. The test is there to encourage people to study this guide, to learn deeply our Australian values before they become Australian citizens. So as I said, this will come into effect, this new test, from the middle of November. For many people who live in Australia today for several years, they'll find the new questions quite straightforward. But clearly, we've got people today who come from all corners of the world, and in some cases they come from countries which have fundamentally different value systems to Australia's values systems. So we want people to deeply understand our values systems, our unique parliamentary democracy, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of association, equality between men and women, those types of things before they become an Australian citizen.

I'm happy to take any questions. Just an opening statement. And I will give further comments just in relation to some further details. There will be, when an individual sits for the citizenship test, they get 20 random multiple choice questions out of a pool of over 200 questions. From the middle of November, five of those questions will be based on the Australian values and an applicant must pass each of those five questions, must get each of those five questions right for them to pass the test. And as I said, there won't be questions on Bradman or Phar Lap, but there will be questions on our parliamentary democracy, on freedom of speech, and the equality between men and women.

Alright. I think that'll do. Thanks very much everybody.