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Foreign Minister reacts as Biloela toddler evacuated from Christmas Island

Article image for Foreign Minister reacts as Biloela toddler evacuated from Christmas Island

The sudden illness of a young girl has put the detention and deportation case of a Sri Lankan asylum seeker family back in the spotlight.

The mother, father and two daughters were sent to Christmas Island two years ago, removed from Biloela where they had settled, and have been awaiting deportation ever since.

Three-year-old Tharnicaa was hospitalised on Sunday after suffering a high fever, vomiting, diarrhoea and dizziness, and has since been evacuated to a Perth hospital where she was diagnosed with pneumonia.

Foreign Minister Marise Payne told Jim Wilson she is not aware of any failure to provide treatment within the detention facility.

“The healthcare services on Christmas Island are broadly comparable with those that are available within the Australian community, as you’d expect under the Australian public health system.

“Our thoughts and best wishes are with her, and with her family.”

The Murugappan family’s case has divided the country, with activists urging the Home Affairs Minister to return them to their rural Queensland home.

The government has consistently refused, but Ms Payne said the United States and New Zealand “are both in the frame” as possible resettlement locations.

Press PLAY below to hear the full interview

Image: Twitter/HomeToBilo

Jim Wilson
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