A Perth family is facing the possibility of being torn apart after great-grandmother Fran Davies was told she could be deported from Australia within weeks.
Appearing on Thursday night’s episode of Today Tonight, Davies explained that she’d moved her family from the United Kingdom to Perth nine years ago after her husband passed away. Two years ago, her application for a permanent visa to remain in Australia had been rejected and she had been left in limbo ever since – until she was told her final appeal had been dismissed.
The 77-year-old explained that Australia is now her home and her entire family now lives in Perth. She’s very much part of the Perth community and says she has nothing back in the United Kingdom. In addition to being a member of the local church, she makes and donates clothes to children in Africa and has made many friends in the nine years she has lived in Perth.
The problem is that Davies receives expensive treatment for both a blood disorder and rheumatoid arthritis. To treat her arthritis, Davies requires monthly injections that cost $1,000 a month under the Medicare system. According to the Federal Government, the cost is simply too high for Aussie taxpayers to foot the bill.
On Today Tonight, Davies’ family said it was cruel for their beloved mother and grandmother to be welcomed to Australia and then be kicked out because of ill health. She uses her British pension to pay for her other medications, but simply can’t afford the amount for her required injections.
She said she felt like a burden on other Australians because the government was telling her she was one.
‘They’re making a point of it, aren’t they?” she said.
Over-75s can obtain an aged parents visa when their medical liability is less than $40,000 over three years. While Davies fell under the cap at $36,000 over the past three years, the lifetime cost of her medication would blow out well beyond that amount in the coming years.
Her last hope now is to appeal to Immigration Minister Peter Dutton or leave the country by the end of June, which Today Tonight confirmed Dutton’s office has received. She won’t be deported while the request is pending. It should also be noted she would be allowed to stay in the country if she or her family were able to pay for the medication.
Still, Davies didn’t think what was happening to her was fair.
“Would he [Peter Dutton] like to see his mother in the same situation?” she asked. “This is a better country for me. I think the country has enough money to keep one person here and that’s me.”
Meanwhile, the Davies family has launched a Change.org petition to keep their beloved mother, grandmother and friend in the country.
Davies isn’t the only person who has found themselves in a similar situation. Last year, a 92-year-old British war veteran was sent packing after the government decided he would be a burden on the health system.