Tamil family ‘literally costing us millions’: Dutton
THE Tamil family fighting to stay in Biloela have cost taxpayers "literally millions of dollars" and their case will "drag on for months", Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton said ahead of their next hearing.
Nadesalingam and Priya and their two daughters, currently in detention on Christmas Island, have another Federal Court hearing on Wednesday in a bid to stay in the country, in a case which has garnered huge public attention.
But Mr Dutton, who opposes the family being allowed to stay as courts have repeatedly found them not to be refugees, said he did not expect the case to end there.
He said the case had already cost "literally millions of dollars" since the case started in 2014, through the numerous court hearings.
"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. They think if they delay they can keep the pressure on the government and we'll change our mind in relation to this case."
He said the matter had been taken all the way to the High Court and the family had been found not to be refugees.
"The matter has been to the High Court, these people came by boat. It's been made clear to them at every turn that they were not going to stay in Australia and they still had children," Mr Dutton said.
"We see that overseas in other countries, anchor babies, so called, the emotion of trying to leverage a migration outcome based on the children."
The case has seen high profile conservatives, including former Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce and shock jock Alan Jones call for the government to intervene and allow the family to stay.
On Wednesday advocates, including Biloela resident and friend of the family Angela Fredericks, came to Canberra with a petition of 250,000 signatures requesting the government allow the family to stay.
Nadesalingam arrived by boat in 2012 and Priya in 2012, while both their daughters, aged 2 and 4, were born in Australia.