28 June 2022 22:42
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Murugappan family gets bridging visas after long struggle in detention

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has backed this decision and wished the Murugappan family well for their return.

The Murugappan family – Priya, Nades, Kopika and Tharnicaa – will be allowed to return to their former home of Biloela in Queensland after more than four years.

They have been granted bridging visas so that the family can work towards resolving their immigration status.

Interim Home Affairs Minister Dr Jim Chalmers tweeted that he had used his ministerial powers to intervene in the family’s case.

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Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has backed this decision and wished the Murugappan family well for their return.

Kon Karapanagiotidis, Founder & CEO of Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC), has decribed this decision as “great first step”.

Priya and Nades Murugappan are two Tamil asylum seekers who came to Australia by boat from Sri Lanka during the civil war a decade ago. They settled in Biloela and lived until their visas expired.

The couple were removed from their home and sent to Christmas Island in August 2019 with their two Australian-born daughters Kopika and Tharnicaa. Later, the family was moved to Perth after three-year-old Tharnicaa suffered a blood infection.

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Image source: Kopika and Tharnicaa Murugappan (Instagram)

The Morrison government had refused the Murugappan family permanent residency of Australia because the parents arrived by boat.

The family received a lot of community help (Home to Bilo group) including support from former deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce and some Coalition MPs who called for them to be allowed to return to Biloela.

Dr Chalmers told media that this is a case based decision and the new Labor government is committed to Operation Sovereign Borders and deterring people smugglers.

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