Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott cancelled university visit to not 'give students an excuse to riot'
Thousands of protesters took part in a national day of action against the government's budget cuts on Wednesday
Australia’s Prime Minister Tony Abbott cancelled a visit to Deakin Unviersity’s Geelong campus on Wednesday, because he did not want to “[give] the students an excuse for a riot.”
The Australian Federal Police (AFP) warned Tony Abbott and Education Minister Christopher Pyne against attending the opening of a carbon fibre research facility in the south west of the country, Australia’s national broadcaster reported.
The politicians’ visit would have coincided with a national day of action against the Government's billion dollar federal cuts, planned by the Australian National Union of Students (NUS) and involving community groups.
During the protest, activists clashed with police on the steps of the Parliament building in Victoria, while almost 2,000 people marched from Melbourne’s State Library to the Parliament.
“Giving the students an excuse for a riot is not actually going to serve that purpose, it was going to take probably up to 50 police off the streets who may have been more useful elsewhere, it was going to inconvenience a lot of people,” Mr Abbott told ABC News.
National Union of Students president Deanna Taylor told ABC News that the cancellation of the Prime Minister's visit was a missed opportunity for protesters to have their voices heard.
''I think the Prime Minister and his ministers are being a bit cowardly and trying to portray students as though they’re violent rabble-rousers who are out to cause trouble, which isn’t the case at all,'' she said.
''They’re trying to make us sound like spoiled little brats who don't know how good we've got it. They have a very clear agenda.''
The cancellation comes the same week that Mr Abbott was branded a "creep" for winking to a grandmother who said she had to work on a phone sex line to pay her bills.
- 1 Universities aren't working us hard enough, say undergraduates
- 2 Lego letter from the 1970s still offers a powerful message to parents 40 years later
- 3 To help fuel their propaganda machine against the poor, our government has now decided to redefine the word 'welfare'
- 4 Woman opens professional cuddling shop – gets 10,000 customers in first week
- 5 Grayson Perry: London needs affordable housing because 'rich people don't create culture'
Heroin to be prescribed to Canadian addicts by doctors
Tower Bridge glass walkway 'smashed' by night-time visitor dropping bottle of beer
Charing Cross fire: Station closed and 100 evacuated over blaze on train
Woman opens professional cuddling shop – gets 10,000 customers in first week
Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby - through the stories of his accusers
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
Rochester by-election: Labour MP Emily Thornberry resigns after posting white van and England flags tweet
France 'blocks' Russian sailors from boarding a warship
Rochester aftermath: Sacking of Emily Thornberry will make work of Labour MPs '10 times harder'
Revealed: How the world gets rich – from privatising British public services
£25k + commission + benefits: Savvy Media Ltd: Find a job you love and never h...
Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: CORPORATE - Corporate Solicitor NQ+ An excelle...
Voluntary Only - Expenses Reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: A trustee (company d...
£45000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...