Tamil Asylum Seeker Family Finally Allowed To Return Home To Biloela

Tears of relief and joy

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The long-awaited outcome for a Tamil refugee family to return to their home in the regional Queensland town of Biloela has finally been announced.

Interim Home Affairs Minister Jim Chalmers released a statement on Friday afternoon, confirming the Tamil Murugappan family can return to their home in Biloela.

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"Today, in my capacity as interim Minister for Home Affairs, I exercised my power under section 195A of the Migration Act 1958 to intervene in the case of the Murugappan family," Mr Chalmers stated.

"The effect of my intervention enables the family to return to Biloela, where they can reside lawfully in the community on bridging visas while they work towards the resolution of their immigration status, in accordance with Australian law"

"I have spoken to the family and wished them well for their return. This decision will allow them to get ‘home to Bilo’, a big-hearted and welcoming Queensland town that has embraced this beautiful family," he said.


Mr Chalmers said earlier, as a Queenslander, he was proud of the way the regional town of Biloela had welcomed and supported the Murugappan family.

"(They have) campaigned long and hard for this family to be returned to their home in Biloela where they are making such a terrific contribution to the local community," he said.

Priya and Nades Murugappan had been living and working in Biloela since 2014 after fleeing Sri Lanka during a protracted ethnic conflict targeting the minority Tamils and arriving in Australia separately on people smuggler boats.

But in early 2018 they were uprooted from Biloela and placed in a Melbourne detention centre, before being sent off to Christmas Island in August 2019.

The family were then moved to Perth, Western Australia, after Tharnicaa, aged three, suffered a blood infection.

Finally able to return home and live in the community that has fought so hard for them, the Murugappan family will remain on bridging visas while they await their case to be resolved in court.

More to come.


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Hit News Team

27 May 2022

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