Malcolm Turnbull, the government’s minister has expressed concern that many people are granted permanent residency before they even step foot into the country so therefore wants to further tighten the visas. Last year Australia accepted around 162,000 permanent migrants last year which is well below they annual cap of 190,000 and has been the lowest intake in ten years.
Malcolm Turnbull wants to introduce a value test which will have to be taken by those considering permanent residency in order to protect its ‘extraordinarily successful’ multicultural society.
Tudge told his London Australia/UK Leadership Forum audience in the “our ship is slightly veering towards a European separatist multicultural model and we want to pull it back to be firmly on the Australian integrated path”.
“Some of the challenges to social cohesion that we are facing today are similar to ones that the UK is facing – such as ethnic segregation and liberal values being challenged.”
Speaking in Tasmania on Friday, Turnbull said testing potential migrants on values made sense.
“That is certainly one of the issues that we are considering but I have to say to you that we are the most successful multicultural society in the world,” he said.
“One of the reasons we are is because we put an enormous amount of effort, in Australia, into integration, into ensuring that our form of multiculturalism is one where we can all benefit from the diversity of cultural and religious and ethnic backgrounds that Australians have.
“This is a country where 28% of Australians were born outside of Australia, over half have a parent born outside of Australia – but isn’t it remarkable that we live together is so much harmony because of the values we share and those Australian values, of democracy, freedom, the rule of law, respect for women, equality between men and women.
“All of these values are vitally important and we must never, ever take them for granted and we should always ensure that we maintain them because that is what creates this extraordinary successful multicultural society that we have.
The current system requires people to sign a values statement before entering Australia, pass a citizenship test and pledge allegiance before becoming a citizen but Mr Tudge said these tests do not show whether people actually understood the Australian values. He has proposed the English Language skills test for those who seek permanent residency should be extended to include a ‘values’ assessment.