According to The Australian, he said: “Diversity can be great, but not when it includes those who want sharia law and will use violence to achieve their ends. Tolerance is generally a good principle, but we should not be tolerant of FGM (female genital mutilation) or child marriage or women being prohibited from learning English, studying or even driving.”
Tudge also said the current practice of granting permanent residency to around 100,000 migrants a year before they have even stepped foot in Australia needed “further consideration”.
A permanent resident visa is given to those who want to stay in Australia without becoming a citizen. They can live, work and study without restriction in Australia, but cannot vote and must ensure they have the correct visa if they want to travel outside the country and reenter
“Our model is integrated multiculturalism,’’ he said. “It is not an assimilationist model, where people must leave their heritage behind. We don’t want or expect that, but of course where there are conflicts in cultural behaviours, Australian law and values must prevail.
“But nor is it a separatist model which we have frequently seen in Europe where people have sometimes brought their entire practices, language and culture and planted them into the new land, with little expectation placed upon them to share or mix with the local community.”
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Australia currently requires people to sign a values statement before entering the country, pass a citizenship test and pledge allegiance before becoming a citizen, but Tudge said there was no way to test whether people actually understood Australian values.
“We place an emphasis on Australian values as the glue that holds the nation together,” he added. “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.”
Last month Tudge made a speech calling for the introduction of a mandatory English language test for migrants, after it was revealed that around one million people currently living in Australia cannot speak English. Currently, only those applying for citizenship must pass such a test.