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Biloela family hoping ‘long, painful saga’ will end after Labor’s election win


A Tamil asylum seeker family living in limbo for the past four years has expressed hope Labor’s election win means they will soon be able to return to the Queensland community they call home.
Labor promised during the campaign if it won the election the Murugappan family could return home to Biloela, ending their long legal battle to remain in Australia.
Following the win of Prime Minister-elect Anthony Albanese, family friend Angela Fredericks said the family was overjoyed their “long, painful saga” could now come to an end.
There were 'happy tears' as the Murugappan family watched the election results unfold.
There were ‘happy tears’ as the Murugappan family watched the election results unfold. (Supplied)
Priya and Nades Murugappan  embraced after learning of the federal election results.
Priya and Nades Murugappan embraced after learning of the federal election results. (Supplied)

“We just called Priya in Perth and told her she and her family were coming home,” Fredericks said in a statement.

“Many happy tears were shed.

“This family has been taken away from their home for more than four years.

“They never should have been taken from the town that loved and needed them.

“As they make the long journey to Biloela to resume their lives here they also commence a journey of recovery and healing.”

The family have been living in immigration detention on Christmas Island since 2019, after they were removed from their home in Biloela, Queensland by Border Force officers in 2018.
The family was removed from their home in Biloela by Border Force officers in 2018 and taken to Christmas Island. They were later moved to community detention in Perth. (Supplied)

Before his election loss, Scott Morrison had ruled out interfering in the family’s case.

“They have not been afforded the status of refugees. So they’re not refugees. That is what the courts have found,” he said on Friday.

“If you grant visas to people who have illegally entered Australia, you may as well start writing the prospectus for people smugglers.”

It's been reported that Tharnicaa had untreated pneumonia that led to a blood infection.
It’s been reported that Tharnicaa had untreated pneumonia that led to a blood infection during the family’s detention.. (Nine)

The Murugappan family was removed from their home Biloela in 2018 and sent to immigration detention on Christmas Island, following the expiration of their visa.

In 2021, they were temporarily relocated to Perth after their youngest daughter Tharnicaa was hospitalised with a suspected blood infection.

They were later granted year-long visas to remain in community detention in Perth while their legal challenges played out in court.

Liberal and Labor HQs tell two different stories

Priya and Nades’ daughters, Kopika and Tharnicaa, were both born in Australia after the couple arrived in Australia by boat seeking asylum.

Priya and Nades are both Tamil, a group that has been persecuted in Sri Lanka.



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