2UE - Fairfax Radio Network

What we're talking about

PM staffer sparks Canberra protest?

Posted by: 2UE | 28 January, 2012 - 2:10 PM
Anger over the burning of the Australian Flag at Parliament House

The Prime Minister's office insists that the staffer who sparked the Australia Day protest in Canberra did not encourage any violence.

One of Julia Gillard's press secretary's Tony Hodges has resigned, after it was revealed he told aboriginal protestors where Oppositon Leader Tony Abbott would be.

PM Gillard and Tony Abbott had to be rushed to safety by police. The opposition is now calling for an inquiry into the incident by Federal Police.




The Coalition says Julia Gillard has lost control of her office after it was revealed one of her own staffers sparked the Australia Day protests. Coalition frontbencher Christopher Pyne with John Stanley on why he is calling for an urgent policy inquiry into the incident.


Aboriginal elders have named a Union official for informing them of Tony Abbott's location during an Australia Day function which led to a violent protest. They allege Kim Sattler from Unions ACT told them the Opposition leader was attending an awards ceremony just 200 metres away from the Tent Embassy.

The elders claim Ms Sattler had Mistakenly informed them that Mr Abbott believed the Embassy should be shut down. Aboriginal protestor Barbara Shaw says she relayed the comments to others in the crowd, but didn't endorse any form of violence.


Members of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy claim they were "set-up" by the Prime Minister's office to raid an Australia Day function at a nearby restaurant. Aboriginal elder Michael Anderson believes the PM'S office was playing on the high emotions that had already been gripping the crowd who regard Australia Day as "invasion day".


2UE Chief Canberra Correspondent Michael Pachi reports on the claims a union leader has been named as the "go-between" between the Prime Minister's office and Aboriginal activists which led to Thursday's violent protest.


Stay up to date on breaking news with 2UE on Twitter  

Follow Radio2UE on Twitter

Blog comments Your Say

  • The only concerns here would be the aboriginal kids seen spitting on the Flag and the young girl burning it, what a great future they have, no doubt following in their "elders" footsteps

    Peter Tuesday 31 January, 2012 - 12:41 PM
  • Richard K - you have to be joking, right, "innocent Tony Abbott" - since when has he been innocent of anything? Ask Pauline Hansen if she thinks he is so innocent. Both sides of Politics use these same "dirty Tricks" and you know only too well that it goes on. Mark Latham can also attest to this, as they gave him hell as well.

    Joe Monday 30 January, 2012 - 5:35 PM
  • Note the absolute lack of any police effort to have all the rioters who staged the disgusting riot at the Lobby Restuarent in Canberra ut before the local Court! I take it Gillard and comrades have issued them a 'direction.' So much for transparent law and order and criminal justice! It is sadly dead and buried hey Gillard!

    Jonathan L Monday 30 January, 2012 - 8:11 AM
  • Prime Minister Julia Gillard is no longer "young and naive" making "serious errors of judgement". Julia Gillard is older, more arrogant and still making "serious errors of judgement". Julia Gillard's Press Secretary Tony Hodges worked very closely, successfully with Miss Gillard for many years. Loyal, smart Tony Hodges must of known very well what was expected of him from his complimenting, approving boss Julia Gillard!

    The only so called "error of judgement" was Tony Hodges etc did not expect to get caught red handed. As for Miss Gillard's distancing herself with denial of any knowledge of Tony Hodges activities?? That is very hard to believe, given their close working, very important relationship. The apparent, inappropriate manipulation of the media is "deeply offensive" to the electorate. Prime Minister Julia Gillard must give an unreserved apology to the nation before her full resignation.

    Christian J. Sunday 29 January, 2012 - 9:05 PM
  • The electorate finds Julia Gillard's countless, implausible denials "deeply offensive" too.

    Raymond Sunday 29 January, 2012 - 11:42 AM
  • There has clearly been a concerted effort within the Unionized-Labor-Government to inappropriately vilify Liberal Hon. Tony Abbott. Notoriously Labor always fight dirty with "whatever it takes" being in the Labor DNA. This whole disgusting, untruthful government should be investigated and appropriate action taken, thereafter. The very serious Tony Hodges affair appears to be uncoincidental and may well be part of the Labor [jig-saw-puzzle] vilification strategy to destroy Tony Abbott's credibility. Labor's unacceptable conduct being staged is obviously not good for Australia's future wellbeing and is already having very serious consequences for all of us.

    Gerry Saturday 28 January, 2012 - 9:28 PM

Post a comment * Mandatory fields