Judge Grants Biloela Family A Final Hearing Before Deportation
The Biloela family will get another chance to show their case for staying in Australia, with a judge ruling they not be deported until a final hearing.
Justice Bromberg ruled in a court in Melbourne that the family get another court hearing on the question of whether their youngest daughter is owed protection by Australia.
They cannot be deported before that time, when they will get a full hearing. No date has been yet set for the federal court hearing, meaning the family will not be deported for the foreseeable future.
However, it is not known whether the family will remain in offshore detention on Christmas Island, where they have been for several weeks, or returned to the mainland as they wait for the hearing.
One of the family's lawyers, Carina Ford, said it was a "good result" but there was more work left to do.
The Tamil family spent another restless night in limbo on Christmas Island as they awaited another court hearing to determine their future in Australia.
Supporters of the family have said Priya and Nades Murugappan and daughters Tharunicaa, two, and Kopika, four would rather stay in "jail-like" conditions than be deported to Sri Lanka.
The family had settled in the Queensland township of Biloela before being taken into detention, with Tharunicaa's parents and sister already refused refugee status in Australia.
"They prefer to stay in detention rather than being deported back to Sri Lanka," Tamil Refugee Council spokesman Aran Mylvaganam told AAP on Wednesday.
Ideally the family would like to return to Biloela or Melbourne, he said.
"Basically there are seven circle guards outside the room at all times."
The family were granted a 24-hour lifeline by the Federal Court on Wednesday after the hearing failed to reach a resolution in the high-profile case.
Australian-born Tharunicaa was legally entitled to make a visa application when "the bar was lifted" between July and August 2017, following a determination by Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton, Barrister Angel Aleksov had argued.
A protection visa application was made for Tharunicaa last week, with Mr Aleksov arguing that bar should remain lifted to assess her right to stay in Australia.
But Stephen Lloyd, acting for the federal government, said the bar was only lifted temporarily and that no application was made during that time.
He conceded there was no evidence the family was notified they needed to "take advantage" of that window.
More to come.