Thursday 11 August 2022 12:31 AM Anthony Albanese's Tamil family decision could create loophole for migrants to ... trends now
The decision to allow a Tamil asylum seeker family to remain in Australia could set a long-term precedent for foreigners wishing to stay in the country, as a Scottish family looks to slide through the same loophole.
Electrical expert Mark Green, 44, was headhunted for his specialist solar installation skills in 2012 and flown to Adelaide with his wife Kelly, 45, and daughter Rebecca, 19.
But after a series of broken promises by employers left them penniless and stranded without visas, they were set to be kicked out of the country on Wednesday.
The family were saved at the last minute thanks to an intervention from a country music legend and the South Australian Premier - with their new immigration lawyer now using the precedent of the Biloela Nadesalingam family as the basis for their legal battle.
SA Best politician Frank Pangallo advised the Green's representation they should use the Nadesalingams as their case study, arguing there was no difference between the two situations.
A chance meeting with an Australian country music legend has saved Mark (right) and Kelly Green (left) and their daughter Rebecca (centre) from certain deportation
The Greens will be using the Nadesalingam family as their legal precedent to remain in Australia after intervention from the South Australian Premier
'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',' Mr Pangallo told The Australian.
'I urge him to do the very same thing with the Greens.'
Mr Pangallo highlighted that the Nadesalingams entered the country 'illegally' while Mr Green came as a skilled labourer, paying taxes and making their 'own way'.
'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 has been paying their own way, including taxes, for the past decade,' he 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.
'They deserve to be granted permanent residency, particularly in the middle of a skilled workers crisis.'
Priya Nadaraja, Nades Murugappan and their daughters Kopika, 7, and Tharnicaa, 4, now call Australia their permanent home after years at the centre of a debate about Australia's immigration policy.
The family were removed from their central Queensland town of Biloela in 2018 after their bridging visas expired, sparking a community-driven campaign to keep the Tamil family in Australia.
The family then spent four years in immigration detention.
The Labor government granted them new bridging visas in June, allowing the family to return to their regional hometown.
The Greens vowed to stay and fight - but as they prepared to be plead for help live on TV, Frank Pangallo was called by the SA Premier to say they had been given the vital lifeline
The Green family were booked on the 10.20pm Qatar Airways flight to Doha, but just as the family should have been checking in, they were dramatically saved at the 11th hour.
South Australian Premier Peter Malinauskas personally called new Labor immigration minister Andrew Giles and persuaded him to grant the family a month-long reprieve.
And Australian Country Music Hall of Fame icon Johnny Mac, 89 - who had a global hit with Pink Champagne And A Room of Roses in 1964 - played an unlikely key role in saving the family, originally from Ayrshire in Scotland.
The Greens were saved thanks to the help of Australian Country Music Hall of Fame hero Johnny Mac, 89 (pictured), who had a global hit with Pink Champagne And A Room of Roses in 1964
'We're just so grateful to everyone,' Mr Green told Daily Mail Australia at his Dover Gardens home in Adelaide. 'But it wouldn't have happened without Johnny.'
Mac was the first Australian country music singer to make it big in the US, appearing alongside Johnny Cash in the 60s, and he even bought Elvis Presley's 1969 gold Cadillac Eldorado.
He is now back living in his hometown of Adelaide and is a regular at Villi's Pies where Ms Green works.
She often serves the long-running 70s host of Channel Seven's Country Style show - and when she told him of her family's plight, he sprung into action.
Mac immediately put her in touch with his old mate and former Today Tonight reporter Frank Pangallo - now an elected South Australian state politician for the SA-Best Party.
The contact sparked a chain of events which would eventually spare the family at the very last moment.
Mark Green (left) and his wife Kelly moved 16,000km from Scotland to their new home in Adelaide, with their permanent residency supposed to be sponsored by his company
Mr Pangallo managed to find a new migration lawyer for the family who told the Greens at the weekend that they should risk everything to stay.
Solicitor Abby Hamdan told the Greens they had nothing to lose by standing their ground - and after days of family debate, at 3.30pm on the day they were due to leave, they decided to stay.
'She's been absolutely fantastic - she told us to stand up and fight for it,' Mark told Daily Mail Australia. 'So we took her advice.
'I was sitting on the fence about it and worried that if we overstayed our welcome it might just make things worse for us in the long run.
'But Kelly and Rebecca said we've got nothing to lose.