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‘Still isn’t finished’: Biloela family to be temporarily re-located to Perth

Neil Breen + Scott Emerson
Article image for ‘Still isn’t finished’: Biloela family to be temporarily re-located to Perth

A friend of the Biloela Tamil asylum seeker family says while they welcomed the news the Murugappan family would be reunited in Perth, there was no “just conclusion” yet.

Immigration Minister Alex Hawke exercised his powers under the Migration Act to allow the family to reside in Perth in a community detention placement, but not to return to Biloela.

Family friend Angela Fredericks, who is also the organiser of the Home to Bilo campaign, said they welcomed the fact the family could reunite but there was a long way to go.

“It really actually isn’t much of a decision, at the end of the day nothing has really changed for the family’s long term situation,” she told Scott Emerson.

“They are getting to be together to get medical attention which they need as a direct result of being detained.

“He may be saying that’s compassionate, to me that’s human decency.

“However we are reeling back here in Biloela we feel like our friends are still there on the other side of the nation and this still isn’t finished.”

She said ultimately the decision rested with the government.

“We asked out govt to listen to the people they represent and find a just conclusion in this case.

“At the end of the day, this isn’t about politics this is about 4 people and those 4 people’s lives.”

Press PLAY below to hear her reaction

Press PLAY below to hear Neil Breen break the news 


The Sri Lankan family were sent to Christmas Island two years ago, removed from Biloela where they had settled, and had been awaiting deportation ever since.

“So in other words, the only change to the situation with the Tamil family from Biloela is that they can live in Perth, not at Christmas Island, and not at Biloela,” Neil Breen summarised.

Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg earlier stressed the government has maintained a “very strong border protection policy”.

“Tragically, between 2008 and 2013, we saw more than 1200 lives lost at sea,” he told Neil Breen.

“Our policies have worked, we’ve been able to keep the boats at bay, we’ve been able to disrupt the people smugglers’ operations, … and as a result, we’ve got more order to our international border policy.”

Press PLAY below to hear Josh Frydenberg’s comments in full

Neil Breen + Scott Emerson