Court Urged To Make Ruling On Future Of Tamil Family
The Federal Court faces increasing pressure to make a ruling on the future of a Tamil family being held in detention on Christmas Island.
A hearing on the case is scheduled for Wednesday in Melbourne but there's no certainty the matter will be finalised.
Priya, Nades and their Australian-born daughters remain in detention as the federal government resists calls not to deport the family to Sri Lanka.
Federal Nationals MP Ken O'Dowd's electorate covers the Queensland town of Biloela, where the family was living before being taken into detention, and said the ongoing uncertainty "tears the community apart".
"The family have been through enough trauma and it is about time the final decision be made," he told AAP in a statement.
"The Australian taxpayer has paid millions of dollars for multiple court cases and tribunals and our highest court has ruled that under the refugee and humanitarian program, the Tamil family are not refugees."
Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has said it could be months before the case is resolved because lawyers will use delaying tactics to try to force the government to change its mind.
He has accused the family of dragging their children through the legal system even though a succession of courts has found the couple and their oldest child are not refugees.
The government argues it cannot make an exception because the couple came to Australia by boat and letting them stay could restart the people-smuggling trade.
Supporters including Angela Fredericks hope the court will order a full and final test of the youngest child's case for legal protection.
She said the family must be returned to Melbourne if that happened because the couple will need access to their lawyers, and their girls Tharunicaa Murugappan, two, and Kopika, four, are suffering the effects of social isolation.