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Prime Minister Anthony Albanese meets Tamil asylum seeker family after return to Biloela

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese meets the Nadesalingam family in Gladstone. (Twitter: @alboMP )

The Prime Minister has met with a Tamil asylum seeker family who returned to central Queensland last week after more than four years in immigration detention.  

Anthony Albanese has taken his senior cabinet to regional Queensland this week and stopped in Gladstone on Wednesday.

It was there he met with the Nadesalingams, who arrived in Biloela on Friday afternoon.

Priya, Nades and their two Australian-born daughters, Kopika and Tharnicaa, are living in the central Queensland town on bridging visas granted by the new Labor government.

The family was able to thank the Prime Minister in person on Wednesday and family friend Angela Fredericks said he assured them a solution for permanent residency was on the way.

"We didn't know if we would actually to get to talk to the Prime Minister today, but it was so important for Priya and Nades to be able to convey their thanks.

Tharnicaa, left, and Kopika Nadesalingam get a cuddle from the Prime Minister. (Twitter: @alboMP)

"It was really heart-warming to watch them be able to embrace the Prime Minister … and the Prime Minister assured us that a solution is on the way."

No time frame was given on when permanency would be announced.

The family was taken into immigration detention in 2018 after the parents' bridging visas expired.

Prior to the election, former Prime Minister Scott Morrison said "there is no protection owed" as claims for protection had been rejected.

Last month the Labor government intervened in the case, allowing the family to return to Biloela on bridging visas.

It's the first time the youngest daughter Tharnicaa has been granted a visa.

Family friend Angela Fredericks with Tharnicaa. (ABC Capricornia: Tobi Loftus)

'No impediment'

During his press conference Mr Albanese once again said the decision to allow the family to stay rested with Immigration Minister Andrew Giles.

"I've said before I see no impediment to the family being settled permanently in Australia, but that will be a decision for the Minister," he said.

The Nadesalingam family wanted to meet Mr Albanese so they could thank him in person. (Twitter: @alboMP)

Mr Albanese subsequently addressed a crowd at a community meeting in Gladstone.

"I went to Biloela in 2019," he said.

"I went there and saw for myself a community that was caring, a community that just wanted to look after their own — including these two little girls, who I had the privilege of meeting this morning.

Mr Albanese said he was proud to lead a country that "expressed such warmth" at then-Acting Home Affairs Minister Jim Chalmers's decision to allow them to return to Biloela.

The family was officially welcomed back by the Biloela community at the Flourish festival on the weekend and five-year-old Tharnicaa celebrated her fifth birthday on Sunday, her first outside of detention.

Tharnicaa Nadesalingam turned five days after returning home. (ABC Capricornia: Rachel McGhee)

Priya Nadaraja said it had been wonderful to be back in her community.

"Thank you to the Prime Minister," she said.

"I'm back to my community, I've made wonderful friends.

Kopika and Tharnicaa said they were looking forward to starting school next week.

"I'm very excited to see my teacher," Kopika said.

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