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Introducing finger number 3, community safety

Jobs, growth and . . . what was the other one . . . oh yeah, community safety. Has anyone got anything?

The government’s backpedalling explanation of Friday’s Border Farce debacle raises more questions than it answers.

The press release was sent to Immigration Minister Peter Dutton’s office but nobody bothered to read the document.

Last year it was revealed in Senate estimates that the Immigration and Border Protection department employs more than 95 communications staff and spin doctors, costing taxpayers at least $8 million a year.

Morrison defended this saying ”These are large organisations which require a significant amount of internal and corporate communication work on behalf of these agencies.”

And none of them thought they should read a press release before it was issued? Are they using the Heydon defence – I didn’t open that attachment?

In typical fashion, a spokesman for Mr Dutton said “The nature of the operation was the same as activity and operations conducted when Labor was in Government.”

Are they ever going to be able to own any action without reference to Labor?

As PDuddy ducked for cover we were told “the Minister was not made aware of the Media Release. The Minister does not direct ABF operational matters.’’

The Prime Minister emphatically denied knowing anything about the operation.

So who does direct ABF matters?

Has Abbott created a rogue secret service that is answerable to no-one, that is deciding for themselves what to do with no direction from government?

“I think there’s a bit of hyperventilating going on here,’’ Abbott said. “All sorts of press releases go out all the time but they go out under the authority of the relevant officials … and that all happens at arm’s length from ministers.’’

“Obviously it was a mistake. The press release was clumsy. It was over the top and wrong.”

The Prime Minister warned those who sought to demean the role of Australia Border Force on the basis of a “badly-worded press release” should be “a little ashamed of themselves”.

What about the Department who failed to read it? Shouldn’t they be just a little ashamed? And I do not think it hyperventilating to be concerned that unapproved statements of this nature are put into the public arena.

The press release still appears on the official government Department of Immigration and Border Protection website.

“While the ABF regularly conducts a range of compliance field-work, this is the first time we’ve been involved in an inter-agency operation of this nature and we’re very proud be able to support each of our organisations to achieve our common mission of promoting a secure and cohesive society here in Melbourne.”

“ABF officers will be positioned at various locations around the CBD speaking with any individual we cross paths with,” Mr Smith said.

“You need to be aware of the conditions of your visa; if you commit visa fraud you should know it’s only a matter of time before you’re caught out.”

The inter-agency outfit will continue to work together on an ongoing basis to target crime in and around the Melbourne CBD to make the city a safer place for everyone.

Is Abbott suggesting that Don Smith has been misquoted?

There seems little doubt that this was a very deliberate action to fit in with Tony’s “community safety” slogan.



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  1. Terry2

    “Obviously it was a mistake. The press release was clumsy. It was over the top and wrong.”
    As Mr Abbott acknowledged, it’s easy to profile Asians and those from the Middle East but we are having a problem profiling British backpackers………I mean. what do we look for, white legs , people wearing socks with sandals ? ABF are working on it, I think there’s a bit of hyperventilating going on here.”

  2. Kaye Lee

    All those uniforms and no-one to arrest.

    As this little foray into community safety didn’t go so well I am expecting a flurry of CCTV announcements again.

    Golding’s cartoon today:

    What’s our reason for going to war in Syria?

    Abbott: What’s our security announcables for next week?

    There are none.

    Abbott: Exactly!

  3. corvus boreus

    “The press release was clumsy. It was over the top and wrong.”

    Which particular piece of inept and aggressive miscommunication is Mr Abbott referring to?

    The one where he called citizens taking legitimate legal action against improper process ‘viglantes’ and ‘saboteurs’?
    The one where he publicly recommended the beheading of people working within our public broadcaster?
    The one where he called a political party representing over 10% of the population ‘the devil’ (satan, pure evil).

    Clumsy and wrong?
    Sounds like trademark Tony.

  4. aravis1

    In line with every sentence Abbott has ever spoken, by his very denial he has admitted that it was a deliberate attempt to further his agenda of fear and control. The only hyperventilating going on here is Abbott’s himself. If I were in his place I wouldn’t be going out in public without strong security.

  5. i have a nugget of pure green

    what we are truly ashamed of is you Mr Abbott and your “Australian Border Farce”

    It looks, sounds and smells like a goose step Mr Abbott, why is it so easy to draw parallels between your actions and a certain other globally notorious figure?

  6. corvus boreus

    I would dearly love to know if Operation Fortitude was initiated by the Victorian Police, or if it stemmed from a federal directive

    Unfortunately, I suspect it is highly unlikely that the question will ever be asked, let alone receive an honest answer.

  7. Sir ScotchMistery

    As usual Abbort won’t get to see any of this but maybe one of his overpaid spinners will. One lives in a little hope.

  8. Pingback: Introducing finger number 3, community safety – Written by KAYE LEE | winstonclose

  9. Kaye Lee

    What must people from other countries think about us? As mentioned on Insiders this morning, the booing of Adam Goodes, the banning of wind farms, stopping people on the street to ask for their papers, the attempt to remove citizen’s right to legally challenge development on environmental grounds, removing carbon pricing, locking up asylum seekers, begging to be allowed to bomb Syria, coal is good for humanity.

    I note Cambodia has said they won’t take any more refugees from us. That was $40 million well spent…NOT. 4 people resettled at a cost of $10 million each.

  10. mars08

    “I think there’s a bit of hyperventilating going on here,’’ Abbott said.

    An interesting comment from an expert in that field… and that’s no exaggeration.

    “…the fundamental job of a federal government is to control our borders. Mr Rudd has plainly lost control of our borders.” April, 2010

    “The Gillard government has completely lost control of our borders.” November, 2010

    “The government has totally lost control of our detention system, just as it’s totally lost control of our borders,” March, 2011

    “This is a Government which has not only lost control of our borders, it’s lost control of boat people once they get into our country.” March, 2013

  11. Matters Not

    Not reading the Press Release is very bad. Not reading the Briefing Note delivered before the ‘presser’ is inexcusable.

    What does a Minister have to do or not do to be sacked by Abbott? David Johnston must be somewhat upset.

    By the way, to put Dutton in charge of anything should be in itself a sackable offence. Not that I want to see the end of Abbott, unless it’s at an election

  12. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Border Force and its Operation Fortitude (wanky names thought up by wanks) are just more examples of how poor, deluded Tony is finding governance just too hard.

    If Tony is too busy brown-nosing today to read this site and our intrepid commenters’ comments, then let his loony LNP underlings relay our combined message that there is no way their farcical incompetence could be forgotten in the short time before the next election.

    If I were any of them in the chain of command, I would be looking for another job. Just a tip: don’t list your association with Border Force on your CV luvvies. Wink, wink, nudge, nudge. (That includes you Peter Dutton, dunderhead.)

  13. Alison White

    Don Smith is my hero – he spoke plain truths in a simple manner that enabled people to see clearly the thrust of government policy denuded of spin and weasel words. Good on you Don!!

  14. Vicki

    Does anyone else see the American way here. NSA, CIA, FEMA. Here we go people. Our freedoms are being eroded one misguided agenda at a time. So they messed up big time, (this time), or is this simply a psy op to introduce something more sinister. I think they were testing the waters of community reaction. I am sure they are around the Sunday barbie today all having a laugh and a back slap on how they fooled us good. Wait for it, the next one should be a humdinger.

  15. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    As there are divergent thoughts on Don Smith already on this site, he will be on my personal radar to see if the concept of good people doing bad jobs is actually true.

  16. musicinhills

    I am sure Naomi Klein knows about the concept, a simple psy op to introduce something more sinister, very few people do

  17. Val Spencer

    Surely ‘heads must roll’ then on this error of judgement????!!!!!

  18. roaminruin

    This is a serious issue worthy of serious comments…but I’ve just gotta give “PDuddy” a LOL.

  19. Kaye Lee

    Remember last year…..

    TENSIONS in cabinet have spilt over, sparking the queen of foreign policy to slap down the pushy baron of border protection.

    Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has killed off speculation that a homeland security super ministry would be created, a move that is aimed directly at ambitious Immigration Minister Scott Morrison.

    Julie Bishop’s voluntary declaration that the Government was not considering a homeland security agency was seen as a slap down of Mr Morrison.

    The Immigration Minister has been closely associated with the proposal, which resembled the expanded command he put together for border protection.

    The proposal would have seen customs, Federal Police and intelligence services and other agencies brought under a single command.

    “If there were such a proposal, it would have to demonstrate any current failures in co-operation between the intelligence agencies, federal and state police and ­defence and I am not aware of any such failures,” Ms Bishop told The Australian yesterday.

  20. Kyran

    There are so many aspects of this that do not withstand any critical analysis.
    Whilst my opinion may be superficial and/or simplistic, the premise that the authorities didn’t know of their operations demonstrates either incompetence or dishonesty. Personally, I’ve lost interest in what you might call it. Whether it be Heydon, Bronwyn, mutton, tiny, Joe, pick a minister, any minister will do. The bottom line is they are not fit to do the job.
    With regard to the Australian Border F-arse, it became operational on July 1st. It is an amalgamation of two departments into one, with increased powers and authority. How could Labor have done it previously (which does not exempt them from complicity in creating a paramilitary unit.)?
    Another one which mystifies me is the incompetence of our agencies with brand new powers regarding metadata. By way of background, there is a really good read on the ABC, where a reporter subjected himself to metadata scrutiny.
    Having met several ‘overstayers’ over the years, and noting they own property, cars and businesses, I am mystified by the agencies inability to find them. These were not difficult searches through ASIC, Titles office or vehicle registration searches, in bygone years. With the new age of social media and mobile phone technology, coupled with metadata laws, the need for ‘street sweeps’ is non existent.
    Don Smith appears to be the ‘one thrown under the bus’, as shorty called it. Roman Quaedvlieg is someone who needs watching. Bit like Heydon, Pell and tiny’s other mates.
    Thank you, Ms Lee. Take care

  21. aravis1

    Vicki, you’re wrong. Yes, it was a venture into what we could call Homeland Security. What the morons didn’t realise, is that Australians are not all from the bogan bottom of the barrel, uneducated and led by the nose. And as a first venture, it was a howling failure. Or from our perspective, gynormous success.
    These lackwits are just too stupid to run a country – which they have not even started to do, after almost two years of being in government. They can’t even imitate a sinister agenda. How could they achieve one? All we need to do now, is refuse to let them do anything in the security arena.
    Our freedoms are intact; the great Melbourne people who came out within an hour, showed us that. And in the process, Abbott and his Dutton idiot, are once again reduced to lying and obfuscation that deceives no one. No, they’re not laughing round a barbie; they are grinding their teeth and chewing their fingernails.
    And please, people. stop doing the doomsayer thing. If these fools had a combined IQ of more than 90, we might want to worry just a little. As it is, please pass the popcorn.

  22. Möbius Ecko

    And now we have the story that Cambodia has stated it will not take any more refugees from Nauru. $55 million for four refugees and they will receive Australian welfare for a long time to come.

  23. Möbius Ecko

    Australia’s $55 million operation to resettle hundreds of refugees from the tiny Pacific island of Nauru to Cambodia appears to have collapsed in a diplomatic embarrassment for the Abbott Government.

    Is there anything this woeful government can do without royally screwing it up, especially when it comes to foreign affairs.

    Australia has become both a laughing stock around the world and a country to be derided.

  24. Daniella Barbar

    People need to know that the Government has a TOP SECRET Department within (that doesn’t exist) where no records are available of the people who are recruited to work there, no tax records etc. John Howard had one which I definitely knew existed as I knew somebody who was offered a job there when we worked together…she was close to the Howard family 😉

    Maybe they can take the blame for the media release not being read! but that would involve admitting to the Secret department wouldn’t it… 😉

  25. Jennifer Meyer-Smith


    That sure would be sweet revenge, Daniella, especially as it’s who you know not what you necessarily know to get into it.

  26. Ned

    Mr Abbott thinks he can avoid responsibility for the Stazi state operation he tried to unleash on Victorians this weekend where every Victorian was a suspect of being illegal, The hight of Hypocrisy coming from a dual citizen PM who cannot hold highest office in the land as stated in the constitution unless he renounces his British Dual Citizenship, and so he says Nope, Nope Nope as to say no comment on “operational matters”, but the truth will come out how Mr Abbott and Mr Dutton tried to declare Martial law this weekend and takeover of Victoria in one of the most successful multicultural societies in the World. What the coalition hatched was a conspiracy operation so big and secretive that it hurt Melbourne’s reputation and economy this weekend with retail sales down as people stayed away from the CBD for fear of Federal harassment of shoppers to produce their papers. The architect of this idiocy in Canberra continues his daily stunts with more recklessness than a Mr Bean BBC comedy. The Blithering ineptitude and abandonment of common sense is stunning having all the hallmarks of a targeted revenge of a labor state. It came in the week the DOW index dropped to its lowest point in US history, the coincidence that it allies with other OECD civil unrest precautions in a week the stock market dropped so low and to signal final economic collapse, signalling Boarder force Fiasco was something of much, much, much greater in conspiracy of a covert black-op that during stock market and economic collapse and unrest intended as a drill to sweep up targeted individuals off the street in September when global economic collapse happens and the police state steps in to contain any outrage of protesting world events. It smacks of the internet conspiracy Jade Helm 15. Was Mr Abbott planning to send foreigners home to their persecution and possible death in a time of economic collapse. The mind runs wild with evil genius scenarios of the most dangerous government in Australian History.
    Have fortitude Melbourne. Its D-day for the this government of dangerous ideas and ineptitude that Australia has never the likes seen or will see again when their brief season of evil ends.

    The coincidence of the Boarder Farce fiasco happening in the same week the Dow dropped to its lowest point in US history and the ASX dropped massively points to Boarder force being a scoup operation during major Global economic collapse and unrest, persecution and depression. Think 1930’s. Think Hitler. Think Abbott.

  27. Jock Alexander

    “Tony Abbott promises officers will ‘never’ stop people for visa checks.” And we all know he’s a man of his… uh oh.

  28. musicinhills

    “I want to make it absolutely crystal clear, as far as this Government is concerned, people will never be stopped in the street randomly and asked for their visa details,” he said.

    “That’s the sort of thing that would never, ever happen in this country.”

    Jesus what’s that tell you, how many times have we heard this “it won’t happen, no not ever, no it wont, let me be crystal clear, let me be crystal clear, let me be let me be crystal clear it wont happen no not ever”

  29. corvus boreus

    “Let em be crystal clear” = ‘I am about to lie/fudge’.

  30. Kaye Lee

    There will be no change to the GST under an Abbott government ever. That is a commitment.

  31. Pingback: Introducing finger number 3, community safety – But as it’s an “operational matter” Shhhh!! | olddogthoughts

  32. kezz

    I was watching thing on Trump.
    His rabid, brain dead supporters made me think about those lovelies here who voted for him and
    goddamnit, don’t give me that Halal, #analsDevinetells me what to think, type and will blindly vote for him again. Even though Abbott will screw them. I swear they are less evolved. or devolving….into a religious believe in daddy in the sky ooze.
    Religion and capitalism. Kaboom!
    In a world as insane as we dwell in Trump cld be Prez. Almost as scary as potato dutton.

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