Supporters of the Murugappan family have vowed to the continue the fight to get them back to the Queensland town of Biloela after the Immigration Minister Alex Hawke granted a temporary reprieve in granting bridging visas to three family members.
Acknowledging widespread support for the family, Mr Hawke says he has moved in the "public interest" to grant temporary three month bridging visas to parents Priya and Nades as well as the oldest daughter Kopika.
But they must stay in Perth as the youngest daughter Tharnicaa, who is still receiving medical care after being released from hospital, did not get a visa and remains effectively in community detention.
"Today's news is another huge step in the long journey home for Priya and her family," Biloela family supporter Angela Fredericks said in a statement. "But still there is no pathway home to Bilo."
"While we welcome Priya, Nades and Kopika being granted bridging visas, we wonder what precisely is the Minister's objective in denying Tharni one. The family must stay together and they need to be back in Biloela as soon as humanly possible."
The Canberra Times understands that Tharnicaa's status allows the whole family to continue to receive government support.
The Tamil family, who are recent long-term residents of immigration detention on Christmas Island, are in community detention in Perth after being reunited in the wake of hospital care for the youngest daughter Tharnicaa.
The minister says the decision allows three members of the family to reside in the Perth community on bridging visas while the youngest child continues medical care and the family's legal matters are ongoing.
"Yesterday at the request of the Sri Lankan family formerly resident in Christmas Island, I exercised my power under section 195A of the Migration Act, granting members of the family three month Bridging Visas, providing work and study rights," Mr Hawke said in a statement.
"Under section 195A a minister can intervene to grant a person a visa if it is in the public interest to do so."
He said the family will continue to have access to healthcare, support services, housing and schooling in the Perth community.
The family has widespread support in the community as it exhausts legal avenues to stay in the country, including from the community in Biloela and political figures on both side of politics.
"We know just how many Australians hold this family in their hearts, and have helped them to this moment today," Ms Fredericks said.
"Now, we need Mr Morrison and Mr Hawke to finally acknowledge that widespread support and ends this long, painful saga for my dear friends."
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