The plans of the police and Australian Border Force to start patrolling the streets of central Melbourne to “randomly” check for visa details, was cancelled after very strong public protests. “The Abbott government is under pressure to explain why the police-led operation including the ABF involved stopping people for visa checks – a measure independent Tasmanian MP Andrew Wilkie compared to East Germany’s Stasi.”
Tony Windsor, the former independent Mp for New England, had the following to say:
“Mr Windsor said: “I’ve got no doubt that some of these people in Abbott’s government hope that something goes wrong domestically. That they can taunt a Muslim into doing something so that they can say that we’re the only ones that can protect you, the Labor party are too weak to protect you, vote for us,” he said, adding, “I think that’s an extraordinary agenda to go to an election on.” Full article here:
A similar interpretation of the action (diverting attention from policy failures) was also given in a detailed article by Peter Hatcher in the Sydney Morning Herald, August 29-30 (“Leadership vacuum is filled with hot air”). The Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, however, denied any knowledge of the action and blamed a poorly formulated press release for the “misunderstanding”.