Marilyn Perkins, MEd, JP, Wollongbar
Given the recent news that Tharnicaa is seriously ill, and has been flown to hospital in Perth everyone should be aware of the sad way this family has been treated by our Federal government.
Dear Prime Minister, My letter to you is about my concern for the ongoing detention of the Murugappan family living in isolation on Christmas Island. I believe this situation demonstrates cruel, inhumane treatment of a family innocent of any crime against Australia.
Talk to Jenny about this: imagine your own two girls living for years in such soul-destroying, mind-numbing isolation. How would your daughters cope living for three years in such conditions? What have those two little girls, Kopica and Tharnicaa, done to deserve such cruel treatment? At three years of age, Tharnicaa has experienced no other life but that of fenced-in isolation with her family.
The fact that the Biloela community has given unwavering support to this family through their whole ordeal demonstrates the calibre of the amazing parents, Priya and Nades. They exemplify exactly the families Australia encourages.
Rather than being any burden on Australia’s health system or social services system, the family was self-sufficient, industrious, employed in local regional industry and volunteering in local school and community organisations: they were an integral part of the Biloela community.
In spite of the contribution the family was making to a remote region, your Government has spent around $6 million dollars trying to deport them, including $1.2 million to keep them on Christmas Island for the last year alone. Imagine that!
Step back, Prime Minister, and ask yourself: is this a constructive use of taxpayers’ money? $6 million could have built a hospital, a school, a community centre or a sports complex for a community the size of Biloela.
Please, Prime Minister, quickly and quietly send this family home to Biloela. There will not be any dangerous or negative repercussions for the security of Australia: rather, such an action will demonstrate Christian values of empathy, kindness and mercy – Christian beliefs you have spoken of publicly as being your own.
Please allow this family to return to their Biloela community. You can do this!