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Renae Lawrence's Return "Overwhelming", Says Mum

The mother of freed Bali Nine drug smuggler Renae Lawrence says her daughter's return to Australia after more than 13 years in jail in Indonesia has been "overwhelming".

Lawrence, her mother Beverley Waterman and step-brother flew into Brisbane international airport early on Thursday morning and were forced to dodge a large media pack wanting to ask questions about her overnight release from a Bali prison.

With her head down, trying to avoid the glare of the cameras, Lawrence and her family exited the arrivals hall and made their way quickly toward a transfer bus for the domestic terminal so they could board a flight to their hometown of Newcastle later this morning.


Lawrence appeared teary and overwhelmed as she was pursued and surrounded by journalists asking for comment.

After arriving at the domestic terminal a short time later, Lawrence and her mother sat quietly at the departure gate for their flight to Newcastle.

Lawrence seemed subdued as she chatted quietly, glancing out at the planes on the tarmac and occasionally using a mobile phone.

Asked if she wanted to take a moment to talk about her homecoming Lawrence, looked teary-eyed, declined, but her mother told AAP: "It's very overwhelming."

Earlier at the international terminal, Mrs Waterman begged journalists to leave her daughter alone.

"We don't want to comment. We've got nothing to say. Please, just leave us," she told reporters soon after she and her daughter disembarked their plane and tried to make their way to the customs area.

But later, when Lawrence was again asked if she had anything to say she spoke in Indonesian, which translated as: "Thanks to the government of Indonesia, that's it."

Her father recently told of his daughter's fear her return would spark a media frenzy like the one that unfolded when Australian drug smuggler Schapelle Corby returned home.

Lawrence could face similar scenes when she arrives in Newcastle, where NSW police may be waiting to arrest her over a high-speed car chase that happened not long before she was arrested at Bali airport in 2005, with 2.7kg of heroin strapped to her body.

However, NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller has indicated a deal with her lawyers was more likely than her being arrested on the tarmac when she flies in.

The 41-year-old former panel beater was released from a Bali prison on Wednesday after serving 13 years for her role in a plot to import more than 8kg of heroin to Australia from Indonesia.

She is the first member of the Bali Nine to taste freedom after serving time in three Indonesian jails.


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