Australia

Biloela family to return home

The family have reacted to the election result because it means they will be able to return home.

The Tamil asylum seeker family who had been fighting to return to the Queensland town of Biloela have reacted with “happy tears” at the election result as Labor had promised they could go home.

In contrast, Scott Morrison had ruled out intervening in the case of Priya and Nadesalingam Murugappan and their two Australian-born daughters, saying to do so would effectively give a green light to people smugglers and “the carnage at sea”.

A statement from Angela Fredericks, of the Home To Bilo campaign, said the family were overjoyed by the election result due to what it means for them.

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“Mr Albanese has promised to allow our friends Priya, Nades and their girls Kopi and Tharni to return home to Biloela,” she said.

“We just called Priya in Perth and told her she and her family were coming home.

“Many happy tears were shed.”

The family will be able to return home after Labor won the election.
The family will be able to return home after Labor won the election.

Ms Fredericks said that the “long, painful saga” had finally come to an end.

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

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Priya and Nades are two Tamil asylum seekers who came to Australia by boat from Sri Lanka during the civil war a decade ago and settled in the central Queensland town after being granted bridging visas.

The family have been away from Biloela for more than four years.
The family have been away from Biloela for more than four years.

They lived and worked in the town, where their two daughters Kopika and Tharnicaa were born, until their bridging visas expired and they were eventually sent to Christmas Island in August 2019 where they became the sole residents of the detention centre there.

They were later moved to Perth after three-year-old Tharnicaa suffered a blood infection, where they had remained in limbo under a Coalition government despite advocacy from Biloela residents and other supporters to “bring them home”.

Federal political reporter

Sydney

Ashleigh Gleeson is a federal political reporter for NCA NewsWire, having previously worked as the national chief of staff. Before that she was deputy chief of staff at the Daily Telegraph, where she also cover… Read more

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