Visas granted for Biloela family members

Members of a Tamil family in a high-profile battle to remain in Australia have been granted 12-month bridging visas, allowing them to remain in the country.

© PR HANDOUT IMAGE PHOTO Three of the four members of the Biloela family have been granted 12-month bridging visas.

Visas were granted to three of the four members of the Murugappan family on Thursday by Immigration Minister Alex Hawke.

However, while visas were given to parents Priya and Nades and daughter Kopika, a similar visa was not granted to the family’s youngest daughter Tharnicaa.

That decision has meant the family would not be able to return to their former home of Biloela in Queensland, and will have to remain in community detention in Perth.

The visa decision comes a week after the family were granted a reprieve in their fight to remain in Australia after a three-month bridging visa was granted, which had allowed them to stay in the country until just before Christmas.


Video: Biloela family granted new bridging visas (9News.com.au)

The family have been living in Perth after years of detention, following the medical evacuation of Tharnicca from Christmas Island earlier this year due to a blood infection.

Supporters of the family have said they were surprised by the decision to grant the visa extension to three of the four family members.

Biloela resident and family friend Angela Fredericks said the withholding of a visa for Tharnicaa prevented the return to their former hometown.

“Australian law gives minister Hawke the power to bring this sorry saga to a close with the stroke of a pen, by issuing the same visa to four-year-old Tharni he has granted to her mum, dad and sister,” she said in a statement.

“Just like her sister Kopika, Tharnicaa was born in Queensland, and that’s where she belongs.”

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