Dutton tight-lipped on Biloela family facing deportation
HOME affairs minister Peter Dutton has remained tight-lipped on whether he will be swayed by the 100,000 petitioners calling for the release of a family in a Melbourne detention centre back to Biloela.
Priya, Nades and their daughters, three-year-old Kopika and 11-month old Tharunicaa, have been detained since March 5 amid a visa dispute which could end their time in Australia.
The "well liked" family is awaiting a Federal Court date, which they will have three days notice of, when their fate will be determined.
Minister Dutton is authorised to allow the family back to Biloela or overthrow the court's decision.
Mr Dutton declined to answer The Observer's questions about the family yesterday, including if the petition would be taken into consideration when their fate was confirmed.
A statement from his office said because the matter was before the courts it would not be appropriate to comment.
Last Friday friend Angela Fredericks delivered the petition, an invitation to visit Biloela, and a present that was for Kopika's third birthday to MrDutton in the latest bid for their freedom.
The items were left with one of his staff because MrDutton was not in the office.
Ms Fredericks said earlier this month Kopika celebrated her third birthday and Tharunicaa took her first steps.
Priya and Nades, a Tamil couple, sought asylum in Australia between 2012 and 2013 and moved to Biloela four years ago.
They are accused of not meeting the nation's protection obligations.