27 October 2008

Australian citizenship test review to be released within weeks

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A review into the Australian citizenship test commissioned by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship is due to for release within weeks, reports the Age.

The Howard Government introduced the citizenship test, which required Australian visa holders to answer correctly questions relating to Australian culture and civil life, such as regarding the cricket legend Sir Donald Bradman and the star racing horse Phar Lap, before they could be granted Australian citizenship.

Retired diplomat Richard Woolcott led the review into the citizenship test and delivered his report to the Government months ago; however, Minister for Immigration and Citizenship Senator Chris Evans confirmed on National Nine Network on Sunday the report will be released within weeks.

"Cabinet is making a decision on the report and it should be made public pretty shortly," he said.  "I took a decision that we would release the report at the same time as we released the government's response."

Accusations were made regarding the Minister's failure to make the report public; however, Senator Evans has denied his government was suppressing submissions.

"The department took some decisions about the submissions but anyone who wants to make their submission public can do so, I haven't had any involvement in hiding submissions," Senator Evans said.

The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people with their Australian visa application.

Article by Jessica Bird, Australian Visa Bureau.

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