HOME TO BILO: Angela Fredericks is calling on Immigration Minister David Coleman to return refugee Tamil family Nadesalingam, Priya and their two daughters to Biloela.  Salvador Zuniga, Sarah Chadwick, Angela Fredericks (centre), Jayne and Paplo Centurion.
HOME TO BILO: Angela Fredericks is calling on Immigration Minister David Coleman to return refugee Tamil family Nadesalingam, Priya and their two daughters to Biloela. Salvador Zuniga, Sarah Chadwick, Angela Fredericks (centre), Jayne and Paplo Centurion. Mike Richards GLA190119PRST

Campaign for Biloela family's release heats up amid election

SUPPORTERS of a detained Biloela family say they are increasing political pressure for their release ahead of the federal election.

With no dates set for a final judgement on their appeal to stay in Australia, Nades and Priya and their two daughters remain at a Melbourne detention centre, where they have been since March last year.

Organiser of the Home to Bilo campaign Angela Fredericks said they wanted all candidates for Flynn to know what the family had been through.

Recently Tamil Council of Australia's Aran Mylvaganamsaid said he was hopeful the family would be allowed to stay if federal Labor won the May 18 election.

However Ms Fredericks said at a local level the family's supporters were not aligning themselves with any political party.

"We want all candidates, no matter what party, to be aware of human rights and the plight of our beautiful family," she said.

"Regardless of who is in the ministerial role for immigration we want them to wake up and look at the support this family has, and whether it's for safety reasons or community integration... we want to have this family released back to Biloela."

In December their latest appeal was dismissed in the Federal Court and they were told they could be deported at any time from February 2.

But on February 2 the they were told they would not be removed until their special-leave application was finalised in the High Court.

Priya and Nades and their daughters Kopika, 3 and Tharunicaa, 1, have been held at the detention centre since March 5, a day after Priya's bridging visa expired.

Ms Fredericks said while it was a difficult time for the family, Priya and Nades are still focused on their daughter's education.

"They're continuing to struggle and they have their fears, but at the moment they're focusing on the girls and Kopika's writing and her language," she said.

"I can now have conversations with Kopika over the phone ... They're really wanting the girls to be learning and growing, even though they're still in there."

A spokesperson for Opposition leader Bill Shorten said it could not comment on individual cases.

They said it was the Immigration Minister's responsibility to decide matters of protection on the merits of each case.



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