Biloela is already a multi-cultural community largely due to the meatworks and the farming industry.
Biloela is already a multi-cultural community largely due to the meatworks and the farming industry.

O'Dowd speaks out about Biloela's Tamil family

AS Biloela's Tamil family wait on Christmas Island before almost certain deportation on Friday, the Member for Flynn Ken O'Dowd has spoken out on the issue.

Mr O'Dowd said the matter was a very complex issue and the longer it went on the more it tore the community apart.

"I believe everybody is entitled to a fair hearing and this has gone on for far too long,” he said.

"The family have been through enough trauma and it is about time the final decision be made.”

Mr O'Dowd was first contacted by friends of the family but said he had never heard from the family themselves or from their legal team.

Over the past few years, he said he had been making representations on their behalf to the Minister who was aware of his position.

But he stressed the Australian tax payer had paid millions of dollars for multiple court cases and tribunals and the highest court has ruled that under the Refugee and Humanitarian program, the Tamil family are not refugees.

Ken O'Dowd is holding a low key party at his office on the night of the 2019 federal election surrounded by some of his volunteers and supporters.
Ken O'Dowd has shared his views on the plight of Biloela's Tamily family Matt Taylor GLA180519ODOWD

"I have been receiving many calls to my office regarding the family for years and it has obviously increased in the last few days,” he said.

"There has been a mixed reaction coming from my constituents ... I have made the views of my constituents very clear to the Ministers.

"I have spoken with Minister Dutton (yesterday) afternoon for an update on the situation.

"I have also been speaking with Minister Colman and the Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack, regarding the Sri Lankan family in the last few days.

"The injunction has been extended and the case has been set down for a further hearing on Friday.”

The case has been in the spotlight since the family were detained in pre-dawn raid on their Biloela home last year.

Their claims for asylum have been rejected by the High Court and ministerial intervention was ruled out this week.

A final decision on the case of the youngest daughter, who like her sister was born in Australia, will be made by the Federal Court tomorrow.

Mr O'Dowd said it was now an operational matter and as it was before the courts it was difficult for him to comment any further.