Australian Citizenship IELTS test. Advancing Australia UnFair. UnAustralian
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Dear Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and the leader of the opposition, Bill Shorten:
You wish to impose a level 6 IELTS tests for all immigrants who wish to become Citizens of our great country.
Your reasoning appears to be about Australian Values. I challenge that.
What are Australian values? The Australian values statement (https://www.border.gov.au/Trav/Life/Aust/living-in-australia-values-statement-long says:
* "Australian society values equality of opportunity for individuals, regardless of their race, religion or ethnic background"
Would setting a bar so high as an IELTS level 6, for university level english, be valuing equality of opportunity, regardless of their race, religion or ethnic background? To propose a level which is one which current australian citizens may not be able to pass, is directly contradicting our own values.
Is it okay that existing Australian citizens likely don't meet that bar? Then why is it used as a bar for Citizenship entry?
Of course, there is the point:
* "the English language, as the national language, is an important unifying element of Australian society."
Our values should not be taken by themselves, and ignoring what else we, as Australians stand for.
Why not "Advance Australia Fair", as our proud anthem states? Or what is next? take away more rights that Australian permanent residents have, splitting up families where one parent is not a citizen? Do we further discriminate against migrants on all entries? This kind of thinking is "Advancing Australia Unfair", and against our Australian Values.
An IELTS test, especially at such a high level of 6, may make sense for international students and skilled worker migration, but for citizenship, it does NOT make sense.
The citizenship test is already in english, and already requires applicants to have an understanding of the language. The changes to the citizenship test are indeed fair, so why not leave it at that?
Prime Minister, and leader of the opposition, the proposed IELTS requirement for citizenship is simply un-Australian, goes against the Australian rights and values that we stand for, and makes Australia an anti-immigrant country.
This test means we are abandoning many who hold a permanent residency, are members of our society, paying taxes, and stating that they are not good enough to become citizens of our great country and vote for leadership, that we don't consider them to be sharing our Australian values and integrate into our society, but we do not require that level of existing citizens (born or immigrated), but somehow that is FAIR. That message is un-Australian.
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