Australian Border Force Commissioner Michael Outram with Minister for Home Affairs Peter Dutton in Canberra. Picture: Gary Ramage
Australian Border Force Commissioner Michael Outram with Minister for Home Affairs Peter Dutton in Canberra. Picture: Gary Ramage

Biloela family's arrest done "with dignity": Border Force

AUSTRALIAN Border Force has defended its actions while detaining a much-loved Biloela family, saying they carried out the arrest "with dignity".

Greens Senator Nick McKim questioned newly appointed ABF commissioner Michael Outram why Biloela family Priya, Nades and their two Australian-born daughters Kopika and Tharunicaa were facing deportation, despite being a well-liked family in the rural town.

The detention has caused a nationwide outcry, with 100,000 people signing a petition calling for their release.

"Why is the family in detention, they are a much-loved family in the community, the father had a job and the community is appalled at what happened," Mr McKim said during the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee.

Mr Outram said the Biloela family was detained because they were "presumably unlawful non-citizens" and the officers acted within their obligation under the Migration Act.

His comments further outraged the family's supporters. Angela Fredericks said the suggestion the family was treated with dignity was "completely off the planet".

The family is accused of not meeting the nation's protection obligations. and await a federal court date where their future in Australia will be revealed. Mr Outram said the family had "exhausted" their right to remain in Australia and have already been through a series of legal processes and appeals.


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