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Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Asylum-seeking Sri Lankan family wins Australian Federal Court ruling

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The Australian Federal Court today (24) ruled that Immigration Minister Alex Hawke’s June 2021 decision to prevent three members of the Murugappan family from applying for further bridging visas was procedurally unfair.

The Sri Lankan Tamil family removed from their Biloela home almost four years ago.

But supporters claim that with visas set to expire in September, the Sri LankanTamil family fear a repeat of the Morrison Government’s 2019 attempt to force the family back to Sri Lanka from Australia.

“This is not the first time that the courts have found that a decision by one of Scott Morrison’s Ministers was made in an unfair way”, family friend Simone Cameron said.

Cameron said Hawke’s June 2021 decision to prevent the family from applying for further visas had proved “irrelevant”, in light of his subsequent undertaking to grant new three month visas to parents Priya and Nades and eldest daughter Kopika.

Two weeks later, in September last year, Hawke granted new 12-month visas to Priya, Nades and Kopika, which expire in September 2022.

Because the Minister chose not to grant a visa to four-year-old Tharni, she remains in community detention and cannot leave Western Australia.

A Department of Home Affairs spokesperson told 9News.com.au,

“The department is considering the implications of the decision” and that “it would be inappropriate to comment further during the appeal period.”

The Murugappan family has been living in detention since 2019, with much of that time spent on Christmas Island.

They were removed from their home in the Queensland town of Biloela and taken into detention in 2018 when their visa expired.

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

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