A young family of Tamil asylum seekers living in central Queensland had their lives upended last year when Australian Border Force (ABF) officers raided their home and took them to an immigration detention centre. A series of court appeals, injunctions, halted flights and transfers have taken place since, begging the question: how much is it costing the government to remove this family of four?

In short, it has cost the government upward of $2 million dollars to try to deport husband and wife Nades and Priya, and their two Australian-born daughters Kopika, four, and Tharunicaa, two, to Sri Lanka where the family claim they are at risk of persecution. Nades and Priya arrived in Australia by boat in 2012 and 2013, before getting married in Australia and having children.