STATEMENTS BY MEMBERS: Asylum Seekers, Biloela family

16 June 2021

Members of the government have provided many reasons why the Biloela family Kopika, Nades, Priya and Tharunicaa cannot go home to Biloela—something the family and their community so desperately wanted to happen. Grave words have been spoken about how their migration regime will be upended if one ounce of compassion was shown.

The House should know that, over the years, immigration ministers have exercised thousands and thousands of acts of discretion. At the stroke of a pen, people have been freed from detention, their deportation has been stopped and they've been allowed to live in Australia. In 2015, the now Leader of the House freed three au pairs from immigration detention against the advice of the Australian Border Force. He did so as a discretionary and humanitarian act. He said his decisions were in the interests of Australia, as a humane and generous society. There were no furrowed brows on those occasions. There were no grave warnings. There were no delays. The Leader of the House let those au pairs go as an act of humanity. It's time for another act of humanity. It's time the minister for immigration let Priya, Nades, Kopika, and Tharunicaa go home to Bilo. Their community wants them and we want them to go too.