Australia facing 'ethnic segregation', Alan Tudge says | Australia news
In a speech overnight in London, Tudge also proposed a “values” test for those seeking permanent residency.
“Our ship is slightly veering towards a European separatist multicultural model and we want to pull it back to be firmly on the Australian integrated path,” he said.
“Some of the challenges to social cohesion that we are facing today are similar to ones that the UK is facing – such as ethnic segregation and liberal values being challenged.”
Senior Labor frontbencher Anthony Albanese criticised the speech, saying ministers should promote Australia while overseas.
“It’s pretty odd that an Australian government minister goes to the UK and talks our country down,” Albanese told the Nine Network on Friday
He said Australia was an incredibly successful multicultural nation.
“Australia, I think, is a bit of a microcosm for what the world should be. People from different religions, races and backgrounds living together overwhelmingly in harmony,” Albanese said.
Tudge said a proposed English language skills test for those seeking permanent residency should be extended to include a “values” assessment.
“We place an emphasis on Australian values as the glue that holds the nation together,” he said.
“We do this through requiring people to sign a values statement before coming into Australia, satisfy a citizenship test and pledge allegiance before becoming a citizen.
“The weakness of this, however, is that we presently have few mechanisms to assess people against their signed statement.”
Tudge said Australians should never be complacent about social cohesion, and advocated “modest incremental policy” changes now rather than “dramatic initiatives down the track”.
“If we want Australia to continue its multicultural success, we must take active steps now to ensure that social cohesion remains strong,” he said.