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Citizenship Minister wants tougher English tests for migrants

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Australia is one of the world’s most multi-cultural countries.

A quarter of Australians are born overseas and around 20% speak a second language.

But Census data shows the number of new arrivals with low levels of English has increased from 19% to 24% in just 10 years.

Citizenship Minister Alan Tudge is renewing a push for amendments to the Citizenship Act to emphasise Australian values and strengthen English proficiency.

“Certainly English language is critical to getting employment,” he tells Chris Smith.

While the current assessment is taken during the citizenship application, it doesn’t cover all bases.

“We are proposing before you become a citizen, there should be an English language test.

“We believe this is so important because, as you know, English is the glue to our society.”

He says he’s disappointed the Labor party has opposed the amendments in the past.

“I really don’t think the Opposition is in the interest of the migrant, nor is it in the interest of Australia.”

Listen to the full interview below