Immigration Minister implored to personally intervene to keep family in Australia

11 August 2022

Federal Immigration Minister, Andrew Giles, has been implored to personally intervene in a desperate 11th hour bid by an Adelaide family to remain in Australia. 

SA-BEST MLC and Multicultural Affairs spokesperson, Frank Pangallo, called on Mr Giles to use the exact same powers he exercised last week in granting the Nadesalingam family from Sri Lanka permanent residency in Australia to the Green family – Mark, Kelly and their daughter, Rebecca. 

The Greens have lived in Australia for the past 10 years while attempting to seek permanent residency. 

Through no fault of their own – including fraudulent and dishonest conduct by a former employer – the Greens have been told they need to return to their former home in Scotland to re-apply for permanent residency in Australia. 

The family was due to fly out late last night (Wednesday) after being ordered out of the country by the Federal Government - but following 11th hour legal advice from a new immigration lawyer has decided to remain in Australia and fight the order. 

“I implore the Minister to personally intervene and review the very specific set of circumstances that have prevented Mr Green from obtaining permanent residency,” Frank said. 

“To date, that hasn’t occurred. Departmental staff have handled Mr Green’s matter and have sent back generic responses that indicate they haven’t bothered to talk to Mr Green about the unique predicament he has found himself in,” he said. 

“That’s why the Minister – not one of his advisers or a public servant - must personally review the Green’s case because only he has power under the Migration Act to personally intervene and reverse the decision to evict the Greens from Australia – the country they have called home for the past 10 years. 

“If he can do so for the Nadesalingam family to score some political points, he can do likewise for the Greens. 

“In the Nadesalingam family matter, the Minister exercised his power to allow the Sri Lankan family to remain permanently in Australia after ‘careful consideration of all relevant matters.’ 

“I urge him to do the very same thing with the Greens. 

“If not, the Minister needs to explain how he can approve permanent residency to the Sri Lankan couple – who entered the country illegally – and their two young children, but deny the same approval to a family who entered the country legally and have been paying their own way – including taxes - for the past decade. 

“The Australian Government has a responsibility – and a duty of care – to protect foreign workers (and their families) who migrate to Australia to work and seek a better way of life from situations like which the Greens find themselves in.” 

Mr Green - a qualified electrician who works full time as a solar panel installer - currently holds a Bridging Visa E (BE) after arriving in Australia from Scotland with Kelly and Rebecca, in February 2012 after being contacted by an Australian solar company looking for skilled and trained employees willing to emigrate to Australia. 

He has worked full time since while being forced to deal with several employers going into liquidation and one of his previous employers misleading him about a permanent residence application that was never submitted. 

With each change of employment, Mr Green’s opportunity to apply for permanent residency has had to be re-started costing the family in the vicinity of $200,000 to date. 

Mr Green’s current employer is fully supportive of his application and is willing to sponsor him, if/when the times arises. 

Mrs Green also has full-time employment in a supervisory role at an Adelaide-based, international bakery, Vili’s, while Rebecca’s dream of attending university has been put on hold due to their predicament. 

The Greens were due to leave the country late last night, but had a last minute change of heart after receiving legal advice from a new lawyer who advised them to stay and fight. 

“Through no fault of his own, Mr Green finds himself in this predicament due entirely to the fraudulent and dishonest behaviour of a former employer and sponsor in which he had placed his trust,” Frank said. 

“The Greens are of excellent character and fill all the requirements of people seeking permanent residency in this country. They have never been a burden on taxpayers,” he said. 

“They deserve to be granted permanent residency – particularly in the middle of a skilled workers crisis.” 

Mark said: “We want so desperately to stay in Australia – this has been our home for the past 10 years and a place where we have established a future for ourselves. 

“We have no home to go to in Scotland. My daughter came here when she was 9 and considers Australia her home,” he said. 

“It is not fair we are being forced to leave the country because a previous employer lied to me.”

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