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Tribunal: Member I Fletcher

The applicant sought a review of decision made by the Department of Home Affairs (Department) refusing to grant the applicant Australian Citizenship. The Department made their decision on the basis that they were not satisfied the applicant was of good character[1]. The AAT affirmed the Department’s decision.

The applicant, who has resided in Australia for more than 40 years, lodged an application for citizenship by conferral[2]. To be eligible for Australian citizenship, a person must satisfy the Department they are of good character[3]. In his citizenship application, the applicant had not disclosed the extent of his criminal record or imprisonment history. The Department had evidence of his bad character that spanned 40 years and asked him on two occasions to respond to this issue. The applicant did not respond and the Department refused the application. The applicant sought a review at the AAT but did not appear at the hearing in person. The AAT contacted him and the hearing was conducted by telephone.

The applicant’s offences were mainly traffic related, but were extensive. He was also sentenced to prison for a range of motor vehicle related offences and demonstrated a lack of insight into their seriousness. His convictions for driving under the influence and speeding also demonstrated a disregard for community safety.

The applicant did not produce any counterbalancing positive evidence of his good character such as engaging in his community, employment or references.

Read the full decision.

[1] Australian Citizenship Act 2007 (Cth), s 21(2)(h).

[2] Australian Citizenship Act, s 21.

[3] Australian Citizenship Act, s 21(2)(h).