Biloela family Youngest daughter of Biloela family discharged from WA hospital


The youngest daughter of the Biloela family fighting to stay in Australia has been released from a Western Australian hospital to live with her family in community detention in Perth.

Tharnicaa Murugappan was discharged from hospital almost two weeks after she was medically evacuated with her mother, Priya, to Australia from Christmas Island.
Tharnicaa Murugappa and her sister Kopika.
Tharnicaa Murugappa and her sister Kopika. (Today)

Immigration Minister Alex Hawke said the family will be permitted to live in Perth in a community detention placement while Tharnicaa continues to be treated in the city’s children’s hospital.

“In making this decision I am conscious of the compassionate factors of having children in detention for prolonged periods of time versus ongoing litigation matters, matters before the courts, matters before me as minister that will take some time for us to resolve,” Mr Hawke said in a press conference last week.

While the Murugappans are relieved to be reunited on the mainland after more than “three long, painful years” in detention, they remain concerned about their future.

A Tamil asylum seeker family is being sent back to Sri Lanka from Australia. (Facebook)

“Priya is anxious and nervous that her family has now been forced into a new form of detention in a Perth suburb, 2300km from her Biloela home,” a statement from the campaigning group Home To Bilo, which advocates for the family, said today.

“Immigration Minister Hawke’s “residence determination” comes with a series of rules and restrictions, under which neither Nades nor Priya are permitted to work.”

Kopika and Tharnicaa were both born in Australia. Sri Lankan Tamils are considered by many to be a persecuted minority in the country.

The family had been living in immigration detention on Christmas Island since 2019, after they were removed from their home in Biloela by Border Force officers in 2018.

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