“In 1986, on the recommendation of the Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Commission, the requirement for new citizens to renounce all other allegiance was abolished. In addition, they no longer had to state their names. In 1993, arguing this would further multiculturalism, the Oath of Allegiance, in which the new citizen also swore to observe the laws of Australia and fulfil his or her duties as an Australian citizen, was abolished.  The Oath was sworn on the Bible, or in a way consistent with the new citizen’s religion. Those without a religion were allowed to make an affirmation. This was replaced by a watered down pledge, read by large groups in unison,” said ACM National Convener, David Flint.

“It is surely time to restore the formal Oath of Allegiance, which should be sworn separately by each new citizen before a delegate of the Commonwealth, with of course, the option of making an affirmation. After all, this is required by the Constitution at the Opening of each new federal Parliament, and that can only be abolished if the people agree,” Professor Flint added.