Supporters of Biloela family make heartfelt plea in Canberra
SUPPORTERS of a Biloela family seeking asylum say they will blame Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton if the family is harmed if they are forced back to Sri Lanka.
Tamils Priya and Nadesalingam and their two Australian-born daughters Kopika, 4, and Tharunicaa, 2, are at Christmas Island awaiting their final court hearing on September 18.
In a bid to put more pressure on the Federal Government to let the family stay in Biloela, residents Angela Fredericks and Bronwyn Dendle flew to Canberra this week to plead the family's case.
Armed with the more than 250,000 signatures gained on a petition calling for the family to be released, Ms Fredericks said they hoped to meet with Mr Dutton and Mr Morrison.
"We ended up meeting with six politicians, but we didn't see Mr Dutton or Mr Morrison," she said.
"Of course we were disappointed. If you're there with a petition with 250,000 signatures and they don't want to give you five minutes of their time you start to question if they are really there to represent the people.
"If anything happens to our friends if they are forced back to Sri Lanka, we will be holding Mr Dutton and Mr Morrison responsible."
Next Wednesday's court hearing will be centred around an appeal for protection for the youngest daughter, with the family claiming it would be dangerous for her to return.
Yesterday Mr Dutton, who opposes the family being allowed to stay as the courts have repeatedly found them not to be refugees, said yesterday the case could go on for months.
"I regret to say I don't think this will be dealt with quickly. I think it will go on now for potentially a couple of months because lawyers will try and delay," he told 2GB.
"That's part of a tactic."