Tharnicaa Murugappan will turn five in a matter of weeks and it could be her first birthday with freedom from immigration detention.

Her parents Nades and Priya are Tamil asylum seekers and their bid to remain in Australia is expected to be resolved imminently, the prime minister says.

Anthony Albanese said interim Home Affairs Minister Jim Chalmers would make a statement on Friday about the family, who have been in a long-running legal battle to return to their Biloela home in central Queensland. 

The statement will be consistent with the view that Australia can have strong borders without being weak on humanity, Mr Albanese said. 

“This is a family that were welcomed and were a part of the Biloela community and at the cost of many millions of dollars have been treated in a way which just is not appropriate with Australian values,” he told ABC AM radio on Friday.

“The community want this family back to Biloela and that would be an entirely appropriate outcome.” 

Mr Albanese said the cost to the family’s health and the economic cost of their detention provided a clear reason to resolve the case.  

A friend and advocate for the family Bronwyn Dendle says the Biloela community is eagerly awaiting Dr Chalmer’s statement. 

The family has not yet been advised if they will be returned home, she said. 

“They’ve been watching the news just like everybody else to hear what’s coming,” Ms Dendle told Sky News on Friday.

“They would definitely be welcomed back with open arms and all of Biloela is just relieved that this has come to pass and that they (could be) allowed home.

“We are that town in central Queensland that stands up for their mates and leaves no one behind.”

The Murugappans, who escaped from Sri Lanka by boat during a protracted ethnic conflict targeting the minority Tamils, were given temporary protection visas in Australia.

Their daughters Kopika, 6, and Tharnicaa, 4, were born in Australia.

The family of four had been valued members of the Biloela community before Australian Border Force officials removed them in March 2018 and placed them in a Melbourne detention centre.

They were then detained on Christmas Island in August 2019.

The family of four have been living in Perth in recent months, following the medical evacuation from Christmas Island in 2021 of youngest daughter Tharnicaa.