Bishops call for scrapping of citizenship test

The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (ACBC) has called for the replacement of the Citizenship test with compulsory "formation sessions" where Australian values and attitudes can be promoted.

The Catholic Weekly reports ACBC Immigration and Refugee delegate Bishop Joseph Grech says he "hates to say I told you so" to the Federal Government after it was revealed last year one from 10 people who took the test failed.

The Immigration Minister, Chris Evans, said there would be a review of the test.

"Our feeling all along was that this wasn't going to do much for people to understand our Australian values," Bishop Grech said.

"It's ok to know things about Australia and every Australian should know these things. But the citizenship test is about character, values and attitudes, and therefore the test to us doesn't address those issues.

"And also it puts to a great disadvantage our elderly people and those who come from places where English isn't one of the major languages.

"If we had applied that criteria to many of our migrants who came after the Second World War, we would have prevented many of those people from settling in Australia.

Bishop Grech said he believes ''formation sessions'' would be more productive and more balanced" than a test.

'Test' fails to deliver for new citizens - bishops (Catholic Weekly 27/01/08)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Department of Immigration and Citizenship - Test

Citizenship test harsh, exploitative (CathNews 14/12/06)

25 Jan 2008