This has been a long time coming – 4 years to be exact, but Nades and Priya and their 2 daughters can finally see the end of a long, dark tunnel. Today family friends of the Murugappans and Biloela residents received a phone call from interim Home Affairs Minister – Jim Chalmers that the family will be able to return home to their Central Queensland home on bridging visas, till their immigration situation is sorted out in court.
The whole saga started in 2018, when border force officials detained the family and they spent 4 years in detention, which includes 2 years on Christmas Island till 2021, when their youngest daughter fell sick and the family has been in community detention for most of 2021. It is good to see the new Labor Government keep their word. During the election campaign, they mentioned that allowing the Murugappan family go home to Biloela would be one of the first things done upon getting elected.
Family friend Angela Fredericks read a statement to the media on behalf of the Murugappan family written by Priya (via ABC News):
“Finally everything is here, I cannot believe it,”
“My prayer is that this government will make a change to the lives of every single refugee who comes here.
“All refugees are survivors — they need hope.
“I had the support of Nades and we had the support of the people of Bilo, but many others don’t have that support so I want to help.”
What is sad is that it didn’t have to wait till today, as the former Government lead by Scott Morrison had every opportunity to allow the family to return home, but for years they kept pushing the excuse/reason that the family’s immigration status was being assessed and they didn’t meet the requirements for permanent residency. Well, it is good that the Labor Government solved the issue on the interim quickly, but they need to be held accountable in ensuring the Murugappan family gets to live in Biloela permanently.
Images via ABC News