Government on notice to bring on language test changes – September 2017

Filed under: Politics, Australian Politics, Social and Community, Immigration,

The Government’s controversial citizenship proposals, including a much tougher English language test, have suffered a serious blow, with the Senate giving Immigration Minister Peter Dutton four parliamentary sitting days to put the bill up for debate, otherwise it will be struck from the Senate notice paper.

If Mr Dutton fails to allow his bill to be debated by then, the Government will have to move a motion in the Senate to restore the bill to the notice paper, and it may not get the necessary support.

A majority of senators – Greens, Labor, the Nick Xenophon Team and Jacqui Lambie – supported the motion, which passed 32 to 29.

It was moved by Greens Senator Nick McKim, with an amendment from Senator Lambie, which gave the government until 18 October to bring the bill on for debate.

The Greens originally wanted to strike the bill from the notice paper immediately, saying they were tired of Mr Dutton telling voters how crucial his citizenship bill was while simultaneously withholding it from the Senate.

They have now successfully pressured him to bring the bill on for debate by the first Wednesday of the next sitting week.

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