Significant Community Concerns Over Changes to Citizenship




There was a strong demonstration of concern amongst members of Brisbane’s Southside community at the Moreton Citizenship Forum held on Wednesday night. 

The forum was organised by the Federal Member for Moreton, Graham Perrett and Labor Senator for Queensland, Murray Watt, with special guest the Shadow Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Australia, Tony Burke.

Not only were attendees provided with an update on the progression of the Turnbull Government’s proposed citizenship changes, they were also able to share personal stories about the impact these drastic changes are having on the community.

“Citizenship shouldn’t be about politics. It’s about who we are as a nation and the Government’s changes are about telling people from non-English speaking backgrounds that they are simply not welcome the way others are,” said Shadow Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Australia, Tony Burke.

“The change proposed by Prime Minister Turnbull to require an IELTS level 6 of English competency is equivalent to entry requirements at universities. This says to all potential Australians that unless your English is at university level, you’re not worthy of being an Australian citizen. It is snobbish and out of touch,” said Member for Moreton, Graham Perrett.

“The extension of effective waiting times for residents to become Australian citizens serves completely no purpose. It will mean there is a conscious decision from the Turnbull Government to delay people pledging allegiance to Australia, while already allowing them to permanently live here,” said Senator for Queensland, Murray Watt.

The Senate inquiry into the Government’s Citizenship Bill is in Brisbane for hearings tomorrow.

“This Senate inquiry has so far shown that the Government’s divisive citizenship changes are driving away potential citizens and Labor will not back down,” said MrWatt.

“Moreton is a vibrant culturally diverse community, in fact, it is the most multicultural federal electorate in Queensland; 46 per cent of people who live in Moreton were not born in Australia. The Turnbull Government has completely miscalculated with this divisive legislation,” said Mr Perrett.

These proposed changes have caused immense stress to members of our community, and across the whole of Australia.


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  • commented 2018-05-27 09:19:52 +1000
    I think sir, in contrast to your blowing of the ‘all inclusive trumpet’, that we have an obligation to do what is right and just for our own children and future generations before we have any misplaced, guilt based self flagellation over not allowing certain groups into our country. I, as do the majority of Australians, believe we have a right to open our front door to whom we want, or similarly, close it on those who we don’t think are on our thresh-hold with the intent of becoming friends, or part of our community! It is therefore, not your duty as an elected representative to castigate or convert such beliefs! Lord knows we already have cults in this country, let in because of our sense of a fair go, who are not only proving difficult to integrate, but are refusing to accept our welcoming way of life: in fact, they are openly in opposition to our way of life and a trying to change it! No more of this cult please! I, like most Australians, have no problems with a multiracial society, but some ‘cultures’ are proving the mantel of multiculturalism as nothing more than a dangerous myth to be carefully screened. Therefore, changes to citizenship rules and how we accept those into our ‘family’ SHOULD be revisited and improved to provide a safer tomorrow for our children! We, at least, owe them that after the ways our 2 major political institutions have ruined their chance at a debt free lifestyle by pandering to large multinationals who have sucked this country dry for nothing more than a few temporary jobs. Our politicians need to work smarter, and, instead of cowtailing just to unions, work for the benefit of ALL Australians, without prejudice! Do we currently have any elected representatives that are prepared to represent their employers as their voice!? No, not while they are pandering to either business or unions! They need to pull their heads out of their proverbials and listen to those who voted them to represent them..