The government has not given up on its controversial citizenship changes, while Labor continues to push back on energy and the ABC remains under review. All the day’s events and more
But Dutton did confirm that those who applied for citizenship after April 20, when the government first proposed its changes, which included longer waiting periods for citizenship, will be processed under the existing rules.
Peter Dutton is not backing down on his citizenship changes and is condemning Tony Burke for condemning him. It seems Dutton is not impressed with the comparison to the White Australia Policy.
It is very clear from their own statements that for a long period of time they have supported strengthening the Citizenship Act but they are acting now against the national interest and in their own political interest by pulling this stunt in the Senate with the Greens in an effort to try to delay debate about what is a very important bill. Now what we have proposed in relation to the bill, very sensibly, we’ve been able to negotiate with the independent senators, given that the Labor party will enter into no sensible discussion at all. We have been able to offer up some amendments to the bill which address, in large part, some of the recommendations put forward by the Senate committee; our discussions with the independent senators will continue because we will not be distracted by a political stunt in the Senate between the Labor party and the Greens. We believe very strongly that the proposal we have put forward is moderate, it is sensible, and as I pointed out this morning, we have cancelled the visas of 3,000 people who have committed serious offences, in many cases against Australian citizens, including against children and including the distribution of drugs such as ice. 1,100 people within that cohort were permanent residents and would have gone on to become Australian citizens. Our argument is that these changes were sensible, because we are asking people not only to abide by Australian laws but to adhere to Australian values and we have put forward some sensible amendments. Our discussions will continue with the independents but Tony Burke’s completely over-the-top reaction today really shows that he and Mr Shorten are acting not in the national interest but in their own political interest and for that they should be condemned.