Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Prime Minister No show in Geelong

from w
The PM is supposed to be in Geelong today at Deakin University, at Waurn Ponds shopping and at a lunch, but it's a NO SHOW.  Why?  Surely he's not a scaredy cat in Cat Town!  Do we have a protesting kind of community?  I don't think so. Even the universities these days are tame little kitties these days compared with the 70s when the Uni students were serious activists.  We do small protests mainly and occasionally a large one - I remember the time Pauline Hanson's mob wanted to convince us of her policies and we had a big protest at the Geelong West Town Hall.
From today's Geelong Advertiser.
PRIME Minister Tony Abbott has cancelled today’s visit to Geelong, citing security fears.
Unions, students, pensioners and other protestors were planning to voice their disgust at last week’s Federal Budget to the PM, who was scheduled to attend three events.
Those events included a private $500-per-head Liberal luncheon at The Lord Of The Isles Hotel, the public opening of the expanded Waurn Ponds shopping centre and the official invite-only opening of Deakin University’s Carbon Nexus research facility.
About 70 people were expected at the luncheon and up to 300 at the Deakin event.
But the PM’s office said security advisers were concerned by reports that thousands of activists were planning to show up, some coming by bus from Melbourne.
“Based in security advise, the Prime Minister unfortunately won’t be in attendance at Deakin University in Geelong tomorrow,” a spokesman for Mr Abbott said last night.
The spokesman told the Geelong Advertiser security advisers had been unable to guarantee Mr Abbott’s safety, and the PM did not want his presence to detract from an important day for Deakin. He promised mr Abbott would be back in Geelong soon.
Greens senator Richard Di Natale said the security fears were a furphy.
“He was a bully in opposition and now he has shown himself to be a coward in government,” he said last night.
“If you’re going to weild the axe so brutally you owe it to the people to front up and explain yourself. The least he can do is put up with a few noisy protestors.”
But Corangamite MP Sarah Henderson, who organised the the fundraiser luncheon Mr Abbott was to attend, blamed protestors. “At a time when there is so much focus on Geelong’s advanced manufacturing, it is disappointing that this event has been marred by protestors,” she said. “Carbon Nexus presents Geelong with so many wonderful opportunities. I am just so disappointed the actions of protestors have taken away from what should’ve been a fantastic day for Geelong.”
Geelong Trades Hall Council secretary Tim Gooden said a number of protestors were still planning to be at the shopping centre opening, where they would peacefully voice their disgust at last week’s Federal Budget. “I’m not surprised when he (Mr Abbott) found out we were going to be there that he bailed out,” Mr Gooden said. “He’s just kicked workers and poor people in the guts, so I think he’ll be doing whatever he can to avoid them in the next six months.We’ll still be there, though, to make our voices heard and have a bit of a chant.
“But let’s make no mistake, this was a political decision not to come, he would have been perfectly safe. He just didn’t want the bad publicity.
Labor MP for Corio Richard Marles said Mr Abbott should have come to Geelong. “Tony Abbott is finding it is a lot easier to break his promises and hit Geelong with a bag full of taxes from Canberra - cancelling his visit shows he doesn’t have the guts to explain why Geelong is going to have to pay for his broken promises,” he said.
Speaking before the visits were cancelled, Mr Di Natale said the Prime Minister’s should explain his budget cuts to those who would be most affected, including students, car industry workers and pensioners. “He has shredded the social safety net ... and to have the gall to host a fundraiser that is speculated to cost $500 a head just shows how out of touch he is. He should be explaining to people why he is making it harder for people to access Youth Support, why he is making it harder for people to see a GP or get the health care eye need, and, most importantly, why he isn’t sharing the pain with the big end of town.” Mr Di Natale said mining companies and banks were among those who had “got off Scott free” in the budget and should be contributing more to Government revenue.

Deakin University vice chancellor Jane den Hollander declined to comment on the matter last night.


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