Supporters of the Tamil family focus on Dutton



The au pair saga that engulfs Peter Dutton has galvanized the struggle of a village in Queensland to save a Tamil family from deportation.

Supporters who want the family to be released from the immigration detention and return to their home in the outback Biloela have placed a large billboard near the office of the Minister of the Interior in Brisbane.

Simone Cameron helped raise money to pay for the billboard, with a large photo of Tamil couple Nades and Priya and their Australian-born daughters aged three and a year.

She says that if Mr. Dutton was able to intervene to free foreign au pairs from alien detention, he must act to help free the family and return home.

"He steadfastly refused to acknowledge the overwhelming campaign made by the residents of Biloela … while this au pair affair, we see that some people do catch the attention of Minister Dutton," Cameron told AAP.

"He did not win with favors, it makes us all wonder why."

Nades and Priya sailed separately to Australia in 2012 and 2013 in the aftermath of the civil war in Sri Lanka and settled in Biloela on a temporary bridging visa, which ended in March.

Since then, the couple and their young girls have been detained in immigration detention in Melbourne after Border Force officials removed them from their homes during their morning attack.

They wait for the outcome of a lawsuit, but even if they win the father and the youngest child can still be deported.

Since the couple was held, the Biloela community has fought to get them home, saying that they are valued and productive members of the city. Residents fear the fate of the family if they are forced to return to Sri Lanka.

Mrs Cameron said that the billboard was aimed at finally drawing Mr Dutton's attention and getting him to influence the matter, something he did not do when he was the immigration minister.

"We are conducting our campaign this Saturday to its constituents, talking to voters … We are starting to feel desperate for our friends."

An investigation by the Senate examines whether Mr Dutton abused his ministerial discretionary power to grant two European au pair visas in 2015, despite the reservations of border authorities. He has denied every mistake.


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