A new Labor government led by Anthony Albanese means the Murugapan family will be able to return to the city of Bilaela in Queensland, and the family will be “relieved” because of the election results.
A statement from Angela Fredericks of the House of Bill campaign said she had called Prii Murugapan and told her the news of Labor’s victory.
“Many happy tears have been shed,” Ms Fredericks said in a statement.
“Now we believe that this long painful saga can finally end. This family has been away from home for more than four years. They should never have been taken away from a city that loved and needed them.
“While they are going on a long journey to Belaela to rebuild their lives here, they are also beginning the path of recovery and healing.”
The fate of the Murugappan family was in the context of this federal election, when the coalition and Labor disagreed over whether they should be granted visas for permanent residence in Australia.
Priya and Nadesalingam Murugapan have been fighting for a long time to stay in Australia after they were removed from their home in the city of Bilela in 2018 by Australian border guards after their temporary visas expired.
The couple married in Australia after fleeing the Sri Lankan civil war and arrived separately on smugglers ’boats in 2012 and 2013, resulting in the birth of children in Australia Kopic and Tarnik.
They were detained on Christmas Island in August 2019 when they were seeking refugee status in the courts following a previous detention on the mainland.
The family of four has lived in White since 2014, where Nades worked at a local slaughterhouse, founding a place in the local community until March 4, 2018, when the Pria visa expired.
Supporters in Melbourne are calling for allowing the family to stay in Belael, June 24, 2018. Source: AAP
Since then, the family has asked for ministerial intervention in their case to grant them a permanent visa to stay in Australia. The Morrison government refused to grant this request.
Labor has promised to give families a permanent visa through ministerial intervention that will allow them to relocate to White.
“We congratulate Mr Albanese on his victory, whether majority or minority,” Ms Fredericks said in a statement.
“Mr Albanez has promised to allow our friends Priya, Nades and their girls Kopi and Tarni to return home to Biloea.”
The family asked the media and the public to give them space while they healed and rested.
“The strength of this family has always been at the heart of this campaign led by Bilela to bring them home,” Ms Fredericks said in a statement.
“Hundreds of thousands of Australians have opened their hearts to this family. We know that Priya is incredibly grateful to each of them.
“Every day, Australians who signed our petition, called tens of thousands or sent emails to politicians, came to peaceful vigils across the country, contributed to the legal fund and, most importantly, never gave up hope for this beautiful family.