Biloela family set to return home after election result

Kopi and Tharni Nadesalingam follow the election coverage on Saturday night (Twitter/HometoBilo)

Supporters of a Tamil asylum-seeker family say they are hopeful the family is just weeks away from returning to central Queensland. Source: ABC News.

Labor promised during the campaign that if it won the election the Nadesalingam family would be allowed to return to Biloela.

Family friend Angela Fredericks said there was “so much relief” among the Home2Bilo campaigners after Labor’s election win.

Just over four years ago the Nadesalingam family, also known as the Murugappan family, were removed from their home in Biloela by immigration officials after Priya’s visa had expired and Nadesalingam’s refugee status claim was rejected by the government.

Priya and Nades came to Australia separately by boat in 2012 and 2013 after fleeing worn-torn Sri Lanka and are considered “irregular maritime arrivals” under the Migration Act.

They were granted bridging visas while their cases were assessed and settled in Biloela, where they married and had their first child, Kopika, in 2015. Their second daughter, Tharnicaa, was born in 2017.

In 2018 they were taken to immigration detention in Melbourne and in August 2019, a late-night injunction stopped the family from being deported from Australia.

They were taken instead to Christmas Island and are now in community detention in Perth.

The family has been fighting a long legal battle to remain in Australia and had a legal win earlier this year when the Federal Circuit Court found the Morrison Government’s decision to prevent three members of the family from applying for further bridging visas was “procedurally unfair”.

During the campaign, Anthony Albanese said Labor would allow the family to return to Biloela, but the Coalition made no such commitment.


Biloela Tamil asylum-seeker family set to return to town after election result (By Tobi Loftus, ABC News

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