Citizenship test 'too hard' for some Aussies

Reporter: David Richardson

The government has unveiled its new test for all migrants wanting to become Australian citizens. Would you pass the test? From day one, Australia has been a country of migrants. In fact, one in almost every four people here was born overseas. Millions have come to this country to begin a new life.

From Eric Bana to Vince Sorrenti, Kamahl, and mega-billionaires Richard Pratt and Frank Lowy, so many Australians have come from overseas or are from migrant stock. But would they be here today if they or their parents, had been forced to answer 20 out of 200 questions on Australia's culture, history and sporting past, just to qualify to swear the Oath of Allegiance to Australia?

The new test has been unveiled by Minister, Kevin Andrews. It comes with a 40-page guidebook, and it's not unlike going for your driver's license. But Australians such as boxing champion Kostya Tzu believe the test might be a deterrent to people thinking of moving to this country. He came here in 1992 with no knowledge of Australia and very little English.

Funny man Austen Tayshus believes the quiz of 20 randomly chosen questions will cause a major problem for potential migrants. Any sort of quiz, most people would fail," Austen said. "Knowing Australians, there'd be nobody left here." Even sporting hero Tatiana Grigorieva, a migrant from Russia, thought the questions may be too hard:I'm sure I would not have been able to pass the test straight away myself." "If I was to go for the test and go through the questions, maybe I fail."

Greens senator Bob Brown has vehemently opposed the test, especially the requirement to have English, yet migrant success story "Crazy John" Ilhan believes knowing our language is a must, that to contribute to society they need to understand how to communicate. Critics argue most migrants who came here after the Second World War knew little English, yet they worked on some of the biggest projects this country has ever seen. World-recognised engineering wonders, such as the Snowy Mountains Scheme or the Opera House, could never have been built without migrant labour, English-speaking or not.

Some sample questions:
(20 questions are chosen from a possible 200 at random for each test. An applicant must score at least 12 out of 20.)

1) In what year did Federation take place?

2) Which day of the year is Australia Day?

3) Who was the first prime minister of Australia?

4) What is the population of Australia?

5) Who is the queen†TMs representative in Australia?

6) Who is the head of the Australian government?

7) What are the colours of the Australian flag?

8) What are the three levels of government in Australia?

9) In what year did European settlement of Australia start?

1) 1901
2) January 26th
3) Edmund Barton
4) Approximately 21 million
5) The Governor-General
6) The Prime Minister
7) Red, white and blue
8) Commonwealth, state or territory and local
9) 1788