FUTURE UNCERTAIN: Kopika, 3, and Tharunicaa, 1, have been in a Melbourne detention centre since March with their parents Priya and Nades.
FUTURE UNCERTAIN: Kopika, 3, and Tharunicaa, 1, have been in a Melbourne detention centre since March with their parents Priya and Nades.

Biloela family's anxious wait after Federal Court hearing

THE fate of a Biloela asylum seeker family's future in Australia is now in the hands of Federal Court Judge John Middleton.

Outlining why Mr Middleton should grant mum Priya and daughter Kopika, 3, freedom, lawyer Kajaliny Ranjith argued the family's case was not handled correctly when they were seeking asylum.

The reasons were heard during a court hearing yesterday, six months since Priya and her husband Nades and daughters Kopika and Tharunicaa were taken from Biloela to the Broadmeadows Detention Centre in Victoria.

A submission by the Australian Government was also made yesterday.

The Tamil couple came to Australia by boat separately in 2012 and 2013 and settled in Biloela.

But Priya's bridging visa has since expired.

Nades and Priya settled in Biloela in 2012 and 2013.
Nades and Priya settled in Biloela in 2012 and 2013.

Mr Middleton will deliver his findings at a later date which is yet to be determined.

Broadmeadows resident Brad Coath, who met the family during a visit to the detention centre, said Priya did "amazingly well" in court yesterday.

Mr Coath said the family's submission was focused on how their case was handled when they were seeking asylum.

"In that original hearing Priya was eight months' pregnant, she was suffering migraines and dealing with traumatic material," he said.

"There were issues with translation from that hearing and there was also a gap in the recording."

Friend Chandra Roulston worried how long it would take to reach a decision.

"While we appreciate there is a process, our concern is the impact detention is having on the children," she said.

She said recently Kopika had begun showing distressful behaviour, including biting herself and not eating.

A Department of Home Affairs spokesperson told The Observer in June that years of comprehensive assessment by the Department, tribunals and courts found that the family consistently did not meet Australia's protection obligations.


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