Australia live news updates: ‘We were treated very badly,’ Priya Nadesalingam tells reporters as family arrives home in Biloela | Australia news


‘We were treated very badly’: Priya Nadesalingam

Priya Nadesalingam says (through a translator) that the family’s treatment in the detention was inhumane:

We were treated very badly and my children [were] affected mentally and physically and even my youngest one lost teeth. We had a really hard life and I hope that nobody goes through that.

She says she is very thankful the change of government has allowed her to return home to Biloela today.

She says she is hoping the government comes through with permanent residency for the family soon (they are currently on bridging visas).

Australian government rejects Myanmar court’s Sean Turnell ruling

Foreign minister Penny Wong says the Australian government rejects the court ruling in Myanmar this week against Australian professor Sean Turnell, to continue their violating official secrets law trial.


It is more than sixteen months since Professor Turnell was detained by the Myanmar military.

He remains imprisoned in Myanmar, and we continue to call for his immediate release.

Professor Turnell has worked for Myanmar’s economic development for many years and is internationally respected for this record.

We will continue to advocate for Professor Turnell’s interests and well-being and will not stop until he is safely back with his family.

Here’s the latest Weekly Beast, for all your media news.

SEVERE WEATHER WARNING for DAMAGING WINDS for people in parts of East Gippsland, North East and West and South Gippsland Forecast Districts.

Damaging winds and Alpine blizzard conditions developing across eastern Victoria on Saturday.

Stay informed:

— VicEmergency (@vicemergency) June 10, 2022

Benita Kolovos

Benita Kolovos

First Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria and Daniel Andrews hold ceremony to mark treaty authority agreement

Earlier today, members of the First Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria – the body elected by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to help develop a treaty framework – and the state premier, Daniel Andrews, held a ceremony on Gadubanud Country of the Eastern Maar people in Lorne to mark the agreement to set up a treaty authority.

Beautiful Gadubanud Country of the Eastern Maar people really turned on the magic for us today during our ceremony with the Victorian Premier to celebrate the agreement to create a Treaty Authority grounded in our culture

— First Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria (@firstpeoplesvic) June 10, 2022

It comes after the minister for Aboriginal affairs, Gabrielle Williams, introduced the treaty authority bill to parliament earlier this week.

If passed, it will allow for an independent authority to be established with the legal powers necessary to facilitate treaty negotiations between the government and traditional owners, and resolve any disputes between parties.

It will have a funding stream detached from the standard political cycles.

Authority members – all of which will be First Peoples – will be appointed by a panel independent of government.

Assembly co-chair and Bangerang and Wiradjuri Elder, Aunty Geraldine Atkinson, said the hard work of the last two years was starting to deliver tangible progress on the journey to treaty.

“Ours is the oldest living culture on the planet. It’s clear that our lore and law has stood the test of time and I’m overjoyed and very proud to see it being embedded into the very core of the new institutions we’re creating to get treaty done,” she said.

Assembly member Aunty Charmaine Clarke presented Andrews with a message stick, giving him permission to address the assembly.

The premier, Daniel Andrews, spoke of how treaty will change the shape of the state’s cultural landscape, and how Victorians view and understand their identity, history, and future.

South Australia reports two Covid deaths, including woman in her 20s

South Australia has reported two Covid-19 deaths on Friday – a woman in her 20s and a man in his 90s.

The state recorded 2,342 new cases. There are 235 people in hospital, with five in intensive care.

National Covid-19 update

Here are the latest coronavirus case numbers from around Australia on Friday, as the country records at least 40 deaths from Covid-19:


  • Deaths: 1
  • Cases: 824
  • In hospital: 83 (with 1 person in ICU)


  • Deaths: 11
  • Cases: 7,551
  • In hospital: 1,250 (with 41 people in ICU)

Northern Territory

  • Deaths: 0
  • Cases: 213
  • In hospital: 13 (with no one in ICU)


  • Deaths: 1
  • Cases: 3,786
  • In hospital: 301 (with 9 people in ICU)

South Australia

  • Deaths: 2
  • Cases: 2,342
  • In hospital: 235 (with 5 people in ICU)


  • Deaths: 0
  • Cases: 681
  • In hospital: 31 (with 1 person in ICU)


  • Deaths: 19
  • Cases: 8,025
  • In hospital: 512 (with 28 people in ICU)

Western Australia

  • Deaths: 6
  • Cases: 7,174
  • In hospital: 279 (with 16 people in ICU)
Cait Kelly

Cait Kelly

Incident at surf park in Melbourne’s north leaves man in critical condition

A man is in critical condition after a serious incident at URBNSURF in Melbourne’s north on Friday morning.

Police and paramedics were called to the surf park at Tullamarine at 11.30am.

The surfer, a man believed to be in his 40s, was treated for a medical condition at the park and is now at the Royal Melbourne hospital in a critical condition.

URBNSURF, which opened in 2020, uses technology to create waves for surfers at every level.

The park released a statement saying the it had been immediately closed after the incident.

“There has been a serious incident at URBNSURF Melbourne, our team has provided support and care for the friends on site,” a statement from URBNSURF read.

“Our first priority is the health and safety of our customers.

“As soon as the incident occurred, we immediately closed the park and are continuing to provide our full cooperation to the first responders and police.

“The facility will remain closed until further notice. As a police investigation is under way, we are unable to provide any further comment.”

Tim Watts says 250 passport processing staff to be added over six weeks to address backlog

Watts says the backlog of passport applications is a “big failure” of the former Coalition government, that should have been foreseen given borders opening up after two years.

He says people need to factor in at least six weeks for passport applications. Thirty-five additional staff were put on this week, and 35 will be put on next week.

He says 250 passport processing staff will be put on in the next six weeks to deal with the backlog, but says “it’s not going to be a quick fix but will take some time to work through, so we ask Australians to please plan ahead and get your passport applications in as soon as possible”.

Dutton ‘close to the last person you’d listen to’ on defence procurement acquisitions, says Tim Watts

Assistant foreign affairs minister, Tim Watts, says on ABC’s Afternoon Briefing that the opposition leader, Peter Dutton, has shown he “never got off the training wheels” during the time he was defence minister, following his recent comments about the plans for a stopgap submarine purchase prior to the election.

He said:

The only operation of these six unsuccessful defence ministers of the Abbott, Turnbull and Morrison government is announcing things, desperate to ensure no-one looks at the record of failure on delivery, a record of decades of delays, billions of dollars, tens of billions of dollars of cost blowouts and little delivered for the Australian taxpayer.

And today in the newspapers we see that Peter Dutton is continuing to deliver announcements as a political tactic from opposition. It’s fair to say that Peter Dutton would be close to the last person you’d listen to on advice on defence procurement acquisitions, but he has a bit of company on that list with the five other failed defence ministers …

Eden Gillespie

Eden Gillespie

‘We can come together as one’: friends of Nadesalingam family vow to keep fighting for permanent protection

As Priya Nadesalingam touched down in Biloela for the first time in four years she bent down and kissed the ground.

Priya Nadesalingam kisses the ground at the Thangool aerodrome.
Priya Nadesalingam kisses the ground at the Thangool aerodrome. Photograph: Mike Bowers/The Guardian

Supporters and friends of the Nadesalingam family welcomed the family home with hugs, rainbow streamers and signs embellished with cockatoos.

The humble Thangool airport in Central Queensland was overwhelmed this morning, as media and supporters swarmed the airport, awaiting the family’s arrival.

The excitement was such that an airport worker had to ask the crowd to stay to one side so that when the family touched down they would able to get out smoothly.

As Priya, Nades and their children, Kopika and Tharnicaa, exited the plane, the family received a celebrity welcome and applause from the crowd – one of the girls even blew supporters a kiss.

Teary, Priya said she was “very happy” that she was able to return to Biloela. She said she hoped the government would grant her family with permanent protection and provide other refugees with certainty.

She said the family had been treated “inhumanely” in detention.

In May, interim home affairs minister, Jim Chalmers, granted the family bridging visas, allowing them to leave community detention in Perth and return to their home in Biloela.

But they are still fighting for permanent protection – something the government could grant them with the stroke of a pen using the “godlike” powers of ministerial discretion.

Angelica Fredricks, a friend of the family, said the Home to Bilo campaign is going “to keep fighting until this family has permanency”.

“Australians have shown that we can unite.. we can come together as one,” she said.

With the family attending the Flourish festival on Saturday and Tharnicaa’s fifth birthday party on Sunday, it’s looking to be a hectic welcome home for the Tamil refugee family.

Myself and photographer Mike Bowers have flown up to Biloela and will be speaking with the family, locals and their friends over the next few days – so keep an eye out.

Mehreen Faruqi appointed deputy leader of the Greens

Calla Wahlquist

Calla Wahlquist

Senator Mehreen Faruqi has been appointed deputy leader of the Australian Greens, replacing Senator Nick McKim and Senator Larissa Waters.

The party voted on leadership positions at a party room meeting in Melbourne today.

Adam Bandt was reappointed as leader, Faruqi is in the deputy position. Waters was appointed leader in the Senate, Lidia Thorpe is deputy Senate leader, and Sarah Hanson-Young is manager of Senate business. McKim, whose office issued the statement announcing the leadership change, was appointed senate whip.

Senator Janet Rice is the party room chair. They have also established a new position: house whip, a position they have not needed previously, with Bandt in the lower house on his lonesome. That position will be voted on at a later date.

The statement said all appointments were “supported unanimously and decided by consensus”.

Mehreen Faruqi.
Mehreen Faruqi. Photograph: Bree Bain

A happy day in Biloela – a rare outcome in Australia’s immigration system

The press conference has wrapped up. That was wonderful to see the Nadesalingam family back in Biloela.

I’d covered their court battle – almost every hearing from the day an emergency injunction was issued preventing their removal from Australia, while they were mid-flight being removed from Australia.

Australia’s immigration law is harsh, and almost all of the thousands and thousands cases do not get the attention that this family’s had.

Sitting in court watching each small progression, and incremental victory, it always seemed like an impossible hill for them to climb – even though the immigration minister always had the power to fix it at any time.

So today is a happy day.

It’s not over for them yet. They still don’t yet have permanent residency, but the immigration minister, Andrew Giles, said this week he is being “briefed on options” and will make a decision as soon as possible.

There are many, many others who won’t get a happy resolution in Australia’s immigration system who should, but that shouldn’t detract people from feeling happy today for this family for finally getting back home to Biloela.

Kopika is welcomed home in Biloela today.
Kopika is welcomed home in Biloela today. Photograph: Mike Bowers/The Guardian

‘We were treated very badly’: Priya Nadesalingam

Priya Nadesalingam says (through a translator) that the family’s treatment in the detention was inhumane:

We were treated very badly and my children [were] affected mentally and physically and even my youngest one lost teeth. We had a really hard life and I hope that nobody goes through that.

She says she is very thankful the change of government has allowed her to return home to Biloela today.

She says she is hoping the government comes through with permanent residency for the family soon (they are currently on bridging visas).

There is a Facebook live stream of the Nadesalingam family press conference if you want to continue watching it. The sound isn’t great, but we will have a more full report soon.


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