Acting prime minister Michael McCormack said "right decision" will be made for Kempsey family facing deportation

Decisions to be made: Member for Cowper Pat Conaghan and acting prime minister Michael McCormack.
Decisions to be made: Member for Cowper Pat Conaghan and acting prime minister Michael McCormack.

A NSW North Coast mother continues to fight, with the full support of her community, to stay in Australia following the tragic death of her husband.

Member for Cowper says he will do whatever he can to advocate for the Udawatta family of Kempsey, who face deportation after husband, father and primary visa-holder Raj died of bowel cancer the day after his 50th birthday in September.

The Sri Lankan family continues to grieve the loss of Mr Udawatta, and without federal intervention will lose their home and community.

Mr Conaghan, a former immigration lawyer, is pressuring his government to let the family stay.

Florence Udawatta applied for temporary protection visas, but they were rejected. She has a month to appeal, or pack up her four children's lives and leave the country.

Acting prime minister Michael McCormack weighed in on the issue during a stop-over in Port Macquarie on November 18.

"We're making sure if people are in this situation we are doing everything we can through the right channels of course to make sure that permanent residency can be made available," Mr McCormack said.

"We've always said people need to come to Australia in the right fashion. We have a record, second to none when it comes to being generous with our borders, second to none with the provision we open our arms to people who want to come from overseas. But if people came here on a boat, we've always said they need to come through the right way."


Raj Udawatta migrated from Sri Lanka on a 457 temporary work visa in 2014. He was joined by his family in 2016. He was the primary visa holder for the family who, when reunited, became immersed in building a life and volunteering in their Kempsey community and through their church.

"I understand these are very difficult and compassionate cases and we are doing everything we can, working with the authorities, working with the families and the individuals concerned," Mr McCormack said.

"This is an absolutely harrowing situation and the government is doing everything we can to get the right outcome."

Mr McCormack said the Minister for Immigration will make the final determination on the matter.

"(These cases) are all very different, they are all very bespoke cases. As you would expect, a good local member has been very forthright on this and that's what you'd expect from someone who has caring, understanding, compassionate grounds upon which to lobby the minister. The minister will make the right decision."

This story "Right decision" will be made for family facing deportation first appeared on Port Macquarie News.