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After four years, courts fail to rule on Thai teen's fate

UNDECIDED future ... Plarm Pongprom has no family left in Thailand. Picture: Brian Cassey
THAI teenager Plarm Pongprom, now in her fifth year in Australia, has once again had her case referred back to the Refugee Review Tribunal.

But her guardians are convinced the 14-year-old, now a Year 9 student at Mareeba State High School, will never be sent back to her home land.

"She speaks with an Australian accent, she has Australian friends and she has no one at all back in her home country," said step-grandfather Ken Ritchie.

Last Friday, Mr Ritchie learned the case had been referred back to the RRT.

Plarm applied for residency with the Department of Immigration in 2002.

Her grandparents took her from her then drug-addicted parents in 2001 and brought her to Australia, fearing she would end up living a life of crime and prostitution.

The RRT had already once refused her application, but the matter has reached the High Court of Australia before being referred back down to the Federal Magistrates Court for consideration.

Last Friday, the Federal Magistrates Court in Melbourne ruled the matter go back before the Refugee Review Tribunal.

Mr Ritchie said it could be months before the RRT reached a decision.

"All we know is she cannot go back to Thailand," he said.

"There is no one there for her.

"Most of her relatives are here in Australia."

Court again fails to rule on Thai teen's fate
By Michael Madigan - 27feb06

THAI teenager Plarm Pongprom, now in her fifth year in Australia, has once again had her case referred back to the Refugee Review Tribunal.

But her guardians are convinced the 14-year-old, now a Year 9 student at Mareeba State High School in Queensland, will never be sent back to her homeland.

"She speaks with an Australian accent, she has Australian friends and she has no one at all back in her home country," said step-grandfather Ken Ritchie.

Last Friday, Mr Ritchie learned the case had been referred back to the RRT.

Plarm applied for residency with the Department of Immigration in 2002.

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