The Commonwealth Government has started a national conversation about how we might all develop a greater appreciation of Australian citizenship and its privileges and obligations. This is part of the effort for ensuring our future as a strong, safe and cohesive society.
Your views on this issue and other thoughts you have on the value of citizenship in Australia are important. We have provided some questions below, as well as parts of the consultation paper. The Commonwealth Government wants to hear your views.
Here are my answers. I would suggest that YOU fill in this form as well. An hour of your time to help retain the Australia we love!
Much as we may dislike the wording, the motives and the method behind this “poll” if we do not participate we are giving Carte Blanche to the Government to do as it so obviously wants!
Here are the questions and my replies. Agreement is not expected but PLEASE HAVE YOUR SAY!
1) Do you believe Australian citizenship is currently valued? How is this demonstrated?
Australian Citizenship is currently undervalued by many who have forgotten our roots of mateship and of helping the underdog. Australians as a whole need to return to our roots of a fair go for all and a hand up for the modern day “Swagmen”, those forced from their homes by cruel oppressors.
2) What more can the Commonwealth Government and the community do to ensure Australian citizens understand and respect the privileges and obligations of citizenship?
We can remind Austrralians that citizenship is not merely the waving of the flag or singing the firt verse of the National Anthem. It is also learning, understanding and applying the words of the second verse of Advance Australia Fair.
“For those who’ve come across the seas
We’ve boundless plains to share;
With courage let us all combine
To Advance Australia Fair.
In joyful strains then let us sing,
Advance Australia Fair. ”
3) What place do you see for civics programmes in schools? Are there other locations, such as libraries, online or community groups, where civics information could be provided?
All of the above. There is a need for Australia to accept both the “Black-armband” truth of our history and the Sqatters’ distortrd view of those same events. The electorate needs to be educated about the truth of the story of “Waltzing Matilda” and that almost all of us are that swagman being monstered by the armed forces in the pay of the bloated plutocrats.
4) How can more Australians be encouraged to participate in civic life to build strong, inclusive and sustainable communities?
An education in the art of group action. Encouragement to join organisations as we did up until the 1970’s. The Scouts and Guides, the CWA, the RSL, Any political Party and fight to mould it into a group our nation can be proud of. Discourage the “My vote will make no difference” attitude which is becoming far to common.
5) The Government is considering developing a stronger framework for the citizenship test and the Pledge of Commitment to strengthen the integrity of the citizenship programme. Possible areas for strengthening the citizenship framework include:
Including questions about allegiance and more questions about the rule of law, values and democratic rights and responsibilities in the citizenship test.
Limiting the number of times a person can sit the citizenship test before their application may be refused.
Standardising English language requirements to ensure new citizens have adequate language ability, taking into account particular circumstances such as age.
Appropriate penalties for cheating on the citizenship test.
Requiring more individuals to make the Pledge at a ceremony by reducing exemptions and applying it to those who gain citizenship by descent, adoption and resumption.
Strengthening the Pledge and Preamble to the Citizenship Act to include words about allegiance to Australia and an undertaking not to act contrary to that allegiance.
Clarifying that Australian-born citizens, and those who have citizenship by descent, are bound by the responsibilities and privileges of citizenship as set out in the Preamble.
Requiring a signed undertaking to abide by the Pledge if approved for citizenship.
Are these the areas of the citizenship test and the Pledge that should be examined? Are any areas more important than others?
The Citizenship “Test” should be scrapped. It is a sop to an Australia which no longer exists. The Pledge either with or without God
From this time forward, under God,
I pledge my loyalty to Australia and its people,
whose democratic beliefs I share,
whose rights and liberties I respect, and
whose laws I will uphold and obey.
Covers all the extra proposed verbiage!
6) What other areas do you think should be investigated?
Whether our own Government is damaging some of the “Rights and Liberties” we expect others to uphold.
7) Should the eligibility requirements be strengthened through, for example, requiring persons to have a longer period of permanent residency before applying for citizenship?
NO! This is the sort of pettifogging change for the sake of change which we do NOT need!
8) In what circumstances should a holder of Australian citizenship be regarded as having forfeited citizenship?
Should it be proven, in a Court of Law and after appeal, that the holder of Australian Citizenship has broken the promises he/she made when swearing allegience to Australia. In no circumstances should “natural-born” Australians have their citizenship revoked.
9) Should the powers of revocation apply to citizens when the Minister has reasonable grounds to believe that the person is able to become a national of another country or territory under their laws and where it would not leave that person stateless?
NO! It is up to a Court of Law to decide this.
10) What limitations and safeguards should apply to laws enabling the revocation of the citizenship of Australians engaged in terrorism?
The Rule of Law, not the opinion of the Minister of the Day.
11) Should certain privileges of citizenship – such as the right to vote in elections and receive consular assistance – be able to be suspended for Australian citizens engaged in terrorism?
Australian citizens engaged in terrorism are breaking existing laws and should it be proven In A Court Of Law that they have engaged in such conduct, then the Lawful penalties, including imprisonment, should be applied.
12) If so, which privileges would be reasonable to suspend and under what circumstances?
The privilege of freedom within Australia after conviction. NOT after an opinion of the Minister of the Day.
13) How might we guard against unintended consequences?
By not introducing “off-the-cuff” knee-jerk legislation at the whim of the Prime Minister of the Day