The Nadesalingam family has, fucking finally, been granted permanent Australia visas after years of tireless campaigning from the Biloela community. Excuse me if I shed a small tear at this shred of wonderful news.

The Bring Them Home To Biloela campaign Instagram shared the news on Friday.

At 2.30pm today the Nadesalingam family, affectionately referred to as the ‘Biloela family’, were visited by the Department of Home Affairs team at their Biloela residence and given the news that they have been granted permanent visas,” the campaign wrote.

“Today marks exactly four years and five months since the Nadesalingam family were snatched from their home in a dawn raid on March 5th, 2018.”

Between 2018 and 2022, the family were held in various forms of exceedingly cruel immigration detention in Melbourne and on Christmas Island. They were later held in community detention in Perth after youngest daughter Tharnicaa was rushed to hospital there in 2021.

The family was finally able to return to Biloela in Queensland earlier this year after they were granted bridging visas.

Priya and Nades are both Tamil asylum seekers who met in Australia and moved to Biloela in 2014. Since they were removed from Biloela in 2018, the local community has been fighting for their right to stay in Australia permanently.

In a statement, Priya said that the family finally “[feels] peace”.

“I am so grateful to [Immigration Minister Andrew Giles] for granting us this permanency,” she said.

“Now I know my daughters will get to grow up safely in Australia. Now my husband and I can live without fear.

“This is a very happy day for our family and for all the people of Biloela and Australia who have supported us.”

God, I am simply so happy for this family. Nades has been able to go back to work at Biloela’s Teys meatworks while Tharnicaa and older sister Kopika are back at school.

According to a statement from Andrew Giles, the family was granted the visas after “careful consideration of [their] complex and specific circumstances”.

Giles was able to use his powers under the Migration Act 1958 to grant them.

“This Government made a commitment before the election that, if elected, we would allow the family to return to Biloela and resolve the family’s immigration status. Today, the Government has delivered on that promise,” he said.

But unfortunately, this Government is still committed to turning away other potential asylum seekers who try and reach our country via “unauthorised” boats.

“The Government has demonstrated we will continue to intercept and return any unauthorised vessels seeking to reach Australia,” Giles said.

“For anyone who attempts to migrate via an unauthorised boat to Australia – you will be caught, returned or sent to a regional processing country.

“I do not want people to die in a boat on a journey when there is zero chance of settling in Australia.

“This has not changed since the last Government. We are not considering changing this policy.” 

Today is a massively exciting one for the Nadesalingam family and the Biloela community. But it’s deeply disappointing that Labor is still avidly supporting the cruel policies of offshore processing and boat turn backs.

Image: Instagram / @bringthemhometobiloela