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The new Australian citizenship test which assesses prospective new citizens on their understanding of Australian civics and the responsibilities and privileges of citizenship commences Monday 19 October.

The Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Senator Chris Evans, said the new test is based on the pledge of commitment that new Australians make when becoming citizens. Topics include Australia’s democratic beliefs, laws and government as well as the responsibilities and privileges of citizenship.

The 20 multiple-choice questions in the new test have been written in plain English and will be conducted in English only. All test questions have been drawn from the testable section of the revised citizenship test resource book, Australian Citizenship: Our Common Bond, which was launched in September.

The new test is not a general knowledge quiz about Australia,’ Senator Evans said. ‘We want people applying for citizenship to understand the values of Australian society, our democratic beliefs, our rights and our system of law and what it means to be an Australian citizen. ‘All prospective citizens should understand those concepts so all of the questions in the new citizenship test focus on the commitments that new citizens make in the pledge.’

The new test was developed after an independent review of the old citizenship test last year found that it could be improved by focusing on the pledge of commitment. People will now need to answer 75 per cent per cent or 15 of the 20 questions correctly to pass – up from 60 per cent under the old test.

However, the mandatory questions have been removed to make the test fairer. All questions are now equally important and a person can no longer answer 19 out of 20 questions correctly and still fail the test because they answered one of the three mandatory questions incorrectly. A citizenship course is also under development to help a small group of disadvantaged people, who for a range of reasons, such as limited literacy and schooling, are likely to struggle when preparing for and sitting a formal computer-based test.

This will ensure that we encourage people to become citizens without the test being a barrier,’ Senator Evans said. The citizenship test resource book, Australian Citizenship: Our Common Bond, and practice citizenship test are available online.

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The Economy
Deficit $57.593 billion
Unemployment 8.25 per cent
Economic Growth -0.5 per cent of GDP
Inflation 1.75 per cent
First Home Owners Boost continued for six months
Small Business and General Tax Break increased to 50 per cent for order this calendar year

Infrastructure spending

A total of $22 billion including $8.5 billion for road, rail and port.
$3.2b for West Werribee to Melbourne’s Southern Cross Station
$40m towards design of Melbourne’s East-West rail tunnel
$365m for light rail corridor for the Gold Coast
$20m for planning new corridors in Brisbane
$294m to upgrade Adelaide’s Gawler line
$291m to extend Noarlunga to Seaford line
$61m to extend O-Bahn track in Adelaide
$236m towards central city section of Perth to Fremantle line
$91m for design work on Sydney West metro from Central to Westmead Road ($3.4b)
$1.5b for Hunter Expressway linking the F3 and New England Highway in NSW
$618m towards dual carriageway bypass of Kempsey on the Pacific Highway, NSW
$488m to replace 25km of Bruce Highway between Cooroy and Curra in Qld
$844m to upgrade Ipswich Motorway, Qld Ports ($389m)
$50m for Port of Darwin’s East Arm
$339m for development of common facilities at Port of Oakajee in

WA energy

$4.5b on new clean energy initiative

Education

$5.3b on tertiary education, research and innovation
$934m for 11 teaching, eight research and 12 vocational training projects
$901m for 21 research projects in space, marine, climate and nuclear science
$750m for future funding rounds of the Education Investment Fund
$491m to uncap number of university places from 2012
$437m over four years to provide university education for the disadvantaged
$500m to encourage research, development and commercialisation of ideas
$512m to help universities fund research

Health

$2.5b over five years to drive hospital and health workforce reform
$3.2b from Health and Hospitals Fund to modernise hospitals and improve cancer facilities
$121m over four years to relieve pressure on maternity services
$134m on rural health workforce strategy
Private health insurance rebate reduced for higher income earners
Medicare Levy Surcharge increased
Families

$731m over five years for paid parental leave scheme

Superannuation

Halving of salary sacrifice into super to $25,000 a year for those under 50 and to $50,000 a year for those over 50.

Cut in Government super contribution from $1,500 to $1,000 for those earning less than $60,000 a year

Aged

Pension age increased progressively to 67 years by 2023
Rate at which the pension is withdrawn with private income increased to 50 cents in the dollar
Single Pensioners to get extra $32.49 per week
Couple pensioners to get extra $10.14 per week
New $600 a year Carer Supplement for all Carer Payment recipients, on top of an increase in their pension
Carer allowance recipients to get extra $600 a year for each person in their care

Immigration

Skilled migrant intake slashed by 20 per cent
Extra $650m in funding for border protection

Public broadcasting

ABC to get extra $150m in funding over next three years
SBS to get extra $20m over next three years

www.sbs.com.au

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