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One of the few young families keen to relocate to a drought and flood stricken meatworks town out the back of Gladstone are today facing imminent deportation for being brown.
The Home Affairs office is working tirelessly to deport the family to Sri Lanka, where they face persecution as failed asylum seekers.
Nadesalingam and Priya, and their children aged 6 and 6, had lived in Biloela for several years. That was until Australian Border Force officers, police and Serco guards raided their home at dawn in 2018, taking the husband and wife and their two Australia-born children into custody.
Biloela townsfolks say Priya and Nadesalingam, and their two Australian-born daughters, are welcome additions to their central Queensland town, which like most of regional Australian centres, is struggling to appeal to young families.
However, after 1000 days incarcerated on Christmas Island at the cost of 100,000 per day – the family is relying on a continuously delayed application for an assessment of the dangers the youngest Tharunicaa may face if she is sent to Sri Lanka.
Some consider this application the family’s last hope of remaining in Australia – where they have lived as well-liked contributors to the bush town of Biloela – with the old man working in the abattoir and the two young girls attending daycare in town.
Both daughters have regularly made the news throughout their tortured childhood behind bars, especially after it was revealed that Tharunicaa was denied birthday cake when she turned two, and her sister has also been denied dental surgery for rotten teeth that have come about from their grim and under-resourced childhoods spent in detention.
Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton says sorry but, if he lets these people stay, then he’ll set the wrong precedent.
“It’s not like they are Chinese high-rollers flying into the Crown” said Dutton.
“Or French babysitters for Liberal Party donors”
“These people are working class migrants. Big difference. They don’t even have lobbyists”
Barnaby Joyce was approached for comment, but said his advocacy for regional Australia doesn’t extend to the livelihoods of two little brown girls from the bush.
MORE TO COME.