Dutton reveals real reason Tamil family kept offshore
THE Tamil family will remain on Christmas Island "for their own safety" for months if their case drags on, Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton said ahead of their next court hearing this afternoon.
He said if the family won this afternoon's hearing their case would still continue on, as the government could take it to higher courts.
Nadesalingam and Priya and their two daughters, currently in detention on Christmas Island, will have their case heard before the Federal Court hearing in Melbourne this afternoon.
Their latest case is centred around their two-year-old child born in Australia, with an injunction keeping them from being deported yesterday extended until 4pm today.
Mr Dutton said "the violence and activism of some of the supporters" meant they could not be kept onshore in Australia.
"In this case they're living effectively out in the community on Christmas Island," he told 2GB radio.
"It is the best place for the family until the matter is resolved. It could go on for some months. I hope it comes to a conclusion very quickly.
"That's the safest place for a number of reason, particularly given the violence and the activism of some of the supporters of this family."
Mr Dutton said when the plane originally meant to deport the family was to leave Tullamarine airport last month, activists "cut through the fence and chained themselves to the front of the plane".
"The advice to me from the Commissioner of Australian Border Force in terms of protection of the family as well as his own staff is that they are better held on Christmas Island," he said.
"They're not in detention, but living close by, they have the support they need."
He said the case would still likely drag on for months and that the government would consider appealing to a higher court if they won this afternoon.
"It's infuriating in many ways. I'm conscious of how much the Australian taxpayer pays towards this and people work hard for their moneys," the Home Affairs Minister said.
"The longer people are here, they will say we're mean and heartless for not releasing them into the community."
The hearing will be before 4pm today in the Federal court in Melbourne.