As the citizenship bill mooted by the present Australian government was rejected on 18 October, migrants of Oz heaved a sigh of relief.
Peter Dutton, immigration minister, did not debate this bill in the Senate, with Tony Burke, Shadow Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Australia, blocking it with an announcement in the House of Representatives in the afternoon, as he said that with the government business being concluded in the Senate just now, the government’s citizenship bill will be excluded from Senate’s notice paper and will not be placed before the parliament any more.
Burke was quoted by SBS as saying that this was a huge victory for all people who want to swear their allegiance to Australia and make a commitment to it.
The time lag for some people, who would have had to wait for more than a decade before they became citizens of Australia, has been removed, he said. He stated that even the demand for English at the university level has been disapproved.
Burke added that he would ask the people who would benefit by this to celebrate the moment and asked them to apply immediately under current law if they were eligible for it.
He also requested the Department of Immigration to process those applications which had been submitted.
Dutton, meanwhile, acknowledged to ABC News that processing of applications received later than 20 April would happen under existing laws.
The bill in question, The Australian Citizenship Legislation Amendment (Strengthening the Requirements for Australian Citizenship and Other Measures) Bill 2017, was slated to be have been tabled before the Senate on 17 October and was later postponed to the next day.
Melbourne-based Aneesh Benzi, a youth and family worker, living with his family in the Down Under, said as he was nervous, he was watching closely the events unfold in the parliament.
He told SBS Hindi that he was monitoring the events every half an hour to check for any updates with regard to the citizenship bill. He said that he was in touch with his wife over the phone.
Mihir Dave, an aspiring Australian citizen said he felt relaxed after hearing about the developments.
This feeling was endorsed by Atul Vidhata, a Sydney-based lawyer, who said he felt very relieved, just like the others who were affected. He said that they would closely watch future developments following this event. They would also keep eyeing closely if the Department of Immigration will finally initiate the procedure of processing applications after this development.
On its part, the Labor Party also demanded that the immigration department should right away start processing citizenship applications.
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