Citizenship community meeting – Springvale VIC

Australian Labor MPs Julian Hill, Clare O’Neil and Mark Dreyfus listening to community leaders speak at the Citizenship forum in Springvale VIC. (Photo: L Cox)

Turnbull Government’s proposed citizenship changes

Tuesday 25 July

Last night Australian Labor MP’s Mark Dreyfus (Isaacs), Clare O’Neil (Hotham) and Julian Hill (Bruce) hosted a public meeting to hear constituents concerns over the proposed changes to the Citizenship Act.

The Springvale City Hall meeting was attended by several hundred people wanting to hear the Labor MPs’ advice on what people can do to stop the legislation from passing. The key issues are

  • the proposed four year wait as a permanent resident
  • the English language test set to university level English
  • the Immigration Minister having ultimate decision making powers on applications

The three MP’s addressed the meeting to explain the agenda and introduce the guest speakers, leaders and representatives from various ethnic and community groups.

Each speaker explained how members of their community would be affected, for example uneducated women or refugees whose schooling had been either ignored or disrupted due to war or living in a refugee camp for many years. People without formal education may be able to speak English but being illiterate in their mother tongue makes it more difficult to learn to read and write in a second language.

Likewise many migrants in previous decades have arrived with little or no English but have set up successful businesses or completed tertiary education when given opportunities to learn.

Among those who spoke were:

  • Cr Jim Memeti, Mayor, City of Greater Dandenong and an Albanian immigrant in the 1970’s
  • Jennifer Yang, President, National Australian Chinese Women’s Association
  • Phong Nguyen, Vice President, Federal Vietnamese Community in Australia
  • Dalal Smiley, CEO, Wellsprings for Women, a Lebanese child migrant in the 1970‘s
  • Hari Guduru, President, Hindu Society of Victoria, an Indian skilled migrant in the 1980’s
  • Hyat Rahimi, CEO, Omid Cultural Association, and Afghan refugee who arrived in 2004

Australian Labour MPs and community leaders at the Citizenship forum in Springvale VIC. (Photo: L Cox)

Contact your Federal Member of Parliament

The first thing you can do is to contact your Federal Member and explain how the proposed changes impact on you and your family.

Is your Federal Member hosting a community meeting?

Why not contact their office to ask if they will hold a meeting?

Look up your Federal Member.

Write to the Senate Select Committee

You can also write to the Senate Select Committee to raise your concerns. Explain how the proposed changes would affect your chances of becoming a citizen. Submissions have closed however you can still write a letter or email it to:

Committee Secretary
Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee
PO Box 6100
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600

Send an email to:
Committee Secretary
Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee

Help block the Bill

Labor is committed to stopping this legislation, as are the Greens but we need the cross bench Senators to help block the Bill in the Upper House to stop it becoming law.

Contact the Senators listed below asking them not to support the Bill. You can use our writing to your MP letter template. If sending an email, attach a scanned or photographed copy your letter.

Senator Pauline Hanson, One Nation Leader

Senator Jacqui Lambie

Senator Cory Bernardi

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