.

By Casey Neill

Greater Dandenong Council is opposing moves to toughen the Australian citizenship process.
At the Monday 10 July meeting, councillor Heang Tak successfully moved that the council write to Immigration and Border Protection Minister Peter Dutton to strongly oppose the changes in the Australian Citizenship Legislation Amendment (Strengthening the Requirements for Australian Citizenship and Other Measures) Bill.
The proposed changes include requiring all applicants to pass a stand-alone English test, have lived in Australia as a permanent resident for at least four years instead of one, and show steps they’ve taken to integrate into and contribute to the Australian community.
Cr Tak said: “The measures proposed will serve to alienate sections of Australian society.”
He said the proposal to require ‘university level’ English might send a message to every Australian who didn’t have university entrance qualifications that the Federal Government, if given the choice, would prefer those Australians were not here.
He said claims that national security drove the proposed changes were unsubstantiated.
No councillor indicated opposition to the motion, so it was carried.
Cr Tim Dark then said he wanted to abstain from voting on the motion.
Mayor Jim Memeti explained that there would be no vote because no one indicated opposition.
Cr Sean O’Reilly said that what was concerning about the proposed changes was that “it appears that the Federal Government wants to draw a correlation between English language proficiency and whether someone can become an Australian citizen”.
“There are so many of our residents who may not have the best Australian language in the world,” he said.
“These people are still highly productive, hard-working, valuable contributors to our local economy and community.
“They’re great people and we love them in our community.
“We wouldn’t want them to be inhibited from becoming full-blown Australian citizens.”
Greater Dandenong Council confers citizenships on up to 3000 people each year on behalf of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

Comments are closed.

Your first stop before buying a home. View the whole picture.

More News

A new artwork is brightening the walk between Dandenong Railway Station and the shopping precinct. The Martin George bronze sculpture ...

Keysborough students raised $7000 to help women in need in Ethiopia. Girls from Haileybury’s Simpson House participated in the Walk ...

The ladies from Noble Park CWA scooped the pool at a recent regional craft and home exhibition. But Yvonne Smith ...

A private syndicate has bought Nissan’s headquarters in Dandenong South. David Aiello and Stephen Adgemis from commercial real estate ...

From fireplaces to photo frames and trash – the final nominees for this year’s Greater Dandenong Chamber of Commerce Business ...

Nicole Caccamo is making her mark on some of television’s best-known faces. The Chisholm Institute Diploma of Screen and ...

Latest Sport

Doveton North’s (3/230) Prabhjot Singh tore Fotheringham Reserve apart on Wendesday night’s Round 1 action, scoring an astonishing 151 not out ...

Futures were made at last Wednesday’s second AFL Women’s draft with Dandenong Stingray pair Georgia Gee and Bridie ...

Passionate local coach Dean Alburey is well on his way to living his dream as a professional coach after recently ...