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Priya calls for permanence for others failed by Morrison’s unfair system

Canberra, Tuesday 29 November: Biloela resident Priya Nadesalingam will call on the Albanese government to grant permanence to refugees and people seeking safety who have lived in Australia for a decade, while addressing a rally at Parliament House today.

Immigration Minister Andrew Giles granted permanent visas to all members of the Nadesalingam family in August, following a four year community campaign led by Biloela locals.

Mrs Nadesalingam is one of 31,000 people who have lived as part of communities across the country since seeking safety here a decade ago, who were denied permanence or fair review under changes to the Migration Act during Scott Morrison’s time as Immigration Minister.

Under Mr Morrison’s so-called “fast track” system, negative decisions about the refugee status of people who came seeking safety by sea during August 2012 and January 2014 were reviewed by a separate Immigration Assessment Authority, a process which refugee advocates say was designed to deny minimum standards of procedural fairness.

The Albanese government was elected with a promise to restore permanent visas for all refugees, abolish the Immigration Assessment Authority and create an independent Refugee Review Tribunal to allow for “procedurally fair” review of refugee-related decisions.

But the government has given no indication of the fate of an estimated 9,500 people denied protection under Mr Morrison’s so-called “fast track” system, who have lived as part of communities across Australia for the last decade.

Mrs Nadesalingam has travelled from Biloela to speak at the ‘Canberra Convergence’ being held by a coalition of refugee communities and advocacy groups at Parliament House today.

Priya Nadesalingam said:

“I believe the "fast track" system was unfair. The people who interviewed us had no idea about what has happened in Sri Lanka for Tamils. The policies were made specifically to fail us.

“It has been ten years and people can't keep repeating this process. We want to build our future. So I'm asking everyone that this has to come to an end.

“We need to grant permanent residence to everyone, so we can live our lives peacefully. The 31,000 people need permanent visas now.”

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