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Bishop’s plea to Prime Minister


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The Bishop of Rockhampton Michael McCarthy has written to Prime Minister Morrison asking him to reconsider the application of the Murugappan family who were living in his diocese among the people of Biloela before being relocated to Christmas Island.

Recently, the four-year-old daughter Tharnicaa was evacuated from Christmas Island to a Perth Hospital for medical attention and her family were permitted to join her in convalescence. They are currently living in community detention in Perth while Tharnicaa has ongoing treatment.

Bishop McCarthy said the Murugappan family came to Australia “because we are a wonderful country and through the work of Australian governments have made Australia, a great place to live and raise a family”.

“This was the motivation of all our ancestors who came to this land, seeking a new way of life and most fulfilling as in the case of the Murugappan family, the UNHCR criteria,” he wrote.

“As the Catholic Bishop of the Diocese of Rockhampton, I ask that the Australian Government reconsiders the application of the Murugappan family and allow them to stay in Australia and return to their friends at Biloela who have supported them emotionally.

“I also ask you to reconsider all our people who might be caught up in detention centres awaiting a chance for a new life.

“They, like my ancestors, wanted the best for their children…people who have come as refugees from Asia, Africa, Latin and Central America and Europe bring an incredible richness and giftedness to our land and especially in the next generation.”

Late last month the Immigration Minister Alex Hawke granted the Murugappan family three month bridging visas allowing them to stay in Perth.


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