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Citizenship invitation for over 12,000 Tasmanians.



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Gary Hardgrave MP Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs

Media Release H121/2003 - 1 September 2003

Citizenship Invitation For Over 12,000 Tasmanians

The Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs, Gary Hardgrave, today invited the 12,000 people in Tasmania who are eligible to become Australian citizens to apply for citizenship during the 2003 Australian Citizenship Promotion campaign.

Mr Hardgrave also encouraged Tasmanians to appreciate the unifying role that Australian Citizenship plays in the Australian community.

Mr Hardgrave was represented at the Tasmanian launch of Australian Citizenship Day and the 2003 Citizenship promotion campaign in Launceston by Senator John Watson, who read a message from the Minister.

'There are over 46,000 people in Tasmania who were born overseas. Of these, more than 29 per cent are eligible to become Australian citizens but are yet to take this important step,' Mr Hardgrave said.

'Although they can apply to become Australian citizens at any time, I particularly encourage these residents, who are among more than 900,000 eligible people across Australia, to use the time between now and Australian Citizenship Day on 17 September 2003 to apply.'

He also encouraged them to apply for citizenship through Citizenship eLodgement, an initiative that allows eligible Australian residents to apply on-line for Australian citizenship.

The Tasmanian launch, at Brooks High School in Launceston, included a citizenship ceremony, for three Launceston residents who have settled in Tasmania after arriving from New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and Vietnam respectively.

Mr Hardgrave congratulated the new citizens and said that by making the citizenship pledge they acknowledged the values that unite Australians as a community and celebrated what it meant to be Australian.

Last year almost 4,000 people became Australian citizens on Australian Citizenship Day.

This year's Citizenship promotion campaign, which features television, magazine and Internet advertising over a six-week period, has already begun in Tasmania.

Staff and students at Brooks High School took the opportunity to celebrate the completion of their 'Walking for Harmony' mural. Under a Living In Harmony grant, from the Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs, 42 students painted a mural to celebrate the cultures of the school community.

Tasmanians can contact the Citizenship Information Line on 131 880 or visit

www.citizenship.gov.au for more information on Australian citizenship.

Media contact: Amanda Lynch 0419 123 862