Albo heads for ground zero as verdict looms
OPPOSITION Leader Anthony Albanese will today travel to Biloela to meet with community leaders supporting the Tamil family facing deportation.
Mr Albanese, who is "strongly advocating" for Nadesalingam and Priya and their Australian-born daughters to remain in the country, urged Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton to use his discretion to grant them visas.
He said Mr Dutton could intervene in this case, as he did with two au pairs.
"That is what the ministerial discretion is for, for cases like this, whereby we have two Australians, in terms of the kids, aged four and two, who were born here, but we also have Nades, who worked at the local meat works in Biloela, we have Priya who volunteered at St Vincent de Paul," Mr Albanese told ABC's 7.30 last night.
He denied this would set a precedent for other would-be immigrants.
"The family were integrated in the community of Biloela and they have strongly advocated for them to stay here and they have invited me up there tomorrow," he said.
"It would not undermine our borders whatsoever for the Minister to intervene because of the particular circumstances which are there."
Mr Dutton said yesterday the family had "dragged" their children through the court in an "excessive" appeals process, ahead of their last ditch bid to stay in the country.
Nadesalingam and Priya and their two daughters, currently in detention on Christmas Island, will learn their fate this afternoon after one final Federal Court hearing.
It will be centred around their two-year-old child.
The two parents arrived by boat in 2012 and 2013 and have been living on temporary visas since, with their adopted home of Biloela fighting for them to remain.
Mr Dutton said courts had repeatedly found they were not genuine refugees and he stood by his decision not to intervene in the case.
"You can't appeal, refuse the umpire's decision and then delay and delay and delay through subsequent appeal processes and then say it is unfair that you have been here so long and therefore you have established those connections to the community," he said.
"It doesn't cut both ways."
Mr Dutton said it was unfair on the children, as their parents had been told "from day one" they would not be able to stay.
"I think it is unfair to the children in this case where the parents were given a very definite decision that they weren't going to stay here in Australia many years ago," he said.
"The kids have been dragged through that process in the subsequent years as well."