Australia Asylum seeker family reunited with Biloela friends at Perth Children's Hospital
Government plans to resettle Biloela asylum seekers in US or New Zealand
Government plans to resettle Biloela asylum seekers in US or New Zealand On Sunday, their youngest daughter was evacuated from Christmas Island to Perth for urgent medical treatment following two weeks of illness. Family friends have lashed the "cruel" delay in treatment, which has led to a pledge from the town's mayor to continue fighting to "get them home" to Biloela.But late on Tuesday afternoon, Foreign Minister Marise Payne appeared to rule out a Queensland homecoming for the family."I understand that there are two options that are being looked at," she told Sydney radio station 2GB.
After 15 months apart, the Murugappan family has been reunited with long-time friends from Biloela, in regional Queensland.
Arriving in Perth this morning, Angela Fredericks and Vashini Jayakumar drove straight to Perth Children's Hospital where four-year-old Tharnicaa has received treatment.
Ms Fredericks said it had been an emotional and overwhelming reunion.
Is the government softening on the Biloela family?
The family's case has attracted public and political sympathy, and now there appears to be compassion in Coalition ranks.This morning, Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews tried to put the genie in the bottle — after days of talk about overseas resettlement, she returned to the Coalition’s familiar terrain of stopping the boats.
"Once we were in some privacy, that's when the tears started flowing, particularly [Tharnicaa's mother] Priya.
"She is just so incredibly strong, but Priya just wept in my arms and just said, 'This is so hard.'"
Ms Fredericks said she would not stop advocating for the Murugappan family to return to Biloela.
"This family has been through more than anyone can imagine and [it was good] to just hold Priya and to let her know that while it's not over yet and we don't have a set outcome yet, we're still going, we're still determined to protect this family, to get them back home to Biloela where they belong," she said.
'The family are quite nervous'
The Tamil asylum seeker family has spent the past three years fighting deportation to Sri Lanka.
‘I'm proud to be from Biloela': The town they called home
The story of Biloela and its most famous family, who "just wanted a safe, happy life with their kids", is again burning on Australia's collective tongue.SUVs towing caravans slow down outside her patch of Rainbow Street and silhouetted faces peer from the windows. She can see them sometimes from inside the house, a neat timber rental a few streets from the sleepy main drag.
They have predominantly been held in detention on Christmas Island — an operation which has cost the federal government $6.7 million to date.
Earlier this week, the government granted the family a community detention order, allowing them to remain in Perth while Tharnicaa receives ongoing medical care.
On Tuesday,, joining Tharnicaa and her mother.
Ms Fredericks said the family was still coming to terms with recent events.
"[Priya's] very nervous. She doesn't know Perth at all … so the family are quite nervous," she said.
Friend pledges ongoing advocacy
Advocates and supporters have long called on the government to return the family to Biloela where they lived before being taken into detention in 2018.
"I have been just overwhelmed by the support and the love that we have gotten from people in Perth and I know that Perth is one lucky city because they have got four beautiful people joining their ranks very soon," Ms Fredericks said.
Biloela demands Tamil asylum seeker family be returned 'home' at moving birthday gathering for sick child
Supporters of the Tamil asylum-seeker family detained on Christmas Island beg the federal government to bring "our little family home" to the Queensland town of Biloela. About 50 people attended a community vigil held for the family in the central Queensland town yesterday to mark youngest daughter Tharnicaa Murugappan's fourth birthday.Pressure has mounted in the family's case after Tharnicaa was flown from Christmas Island to Perth's Children's Hospital where she's being treated for sepsis and pneumonia.
"However, they are just on loan … they are destined to come back to Biloela. We are all waiting for them with open arms."
Ms Fredericks said the most challenging part for the family would be the strict rules preventing the parents from working.
"[Nades] can't work under the current arrangement. However, I know both of them are going to throw themselves into the community. They've spent three years not being able to do anything and they're both givers."
Ms Fredericks said she believed allowing the family to remain in Australia would not pose a threat to the government's border policy.
"I take my words from their own Coalition, who have been confirming for us in recent days that the boat turn-back policy is working extremely effectively," she said.
"Whatever happens with this family, it's not going to have any impact on the strong border protection policies that are in place."
Barnaby Joyce's return as Nationals leader gives Biloela asylum seeker family's supporters hope .
A close friend of the Tamil asylum seeker family who are in community detention in Perth has expressed hope newly elected Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce stands by calls for them to return to Biloela in regional Queensland. Biloela resident Angela Fredericks has travelled to Perth to be with the Murugappan family, who lived in the town until 2018 when they were moved into immigration detention, before being sent to Christmas Island the following year.The family's youngest daughter, four-year-old Tharnicaa, was flown to Perth with her mother Priya two weeks ago for medical treatment.