Abbott demands protest inquiry

Australian Opposition leader Tony Abbott has called for a police investigation into last week's Tent Embassy protest, while the woman said to have tipped off Aboriginal protesters said she had gone into hiding.

Abbott said the incident on Australia Day was the most serious security breach involving Australian leaders since the 1970s.

"It should be unthinkable for a security breach of this nature not to be fully investigated by the Australian Federal Police," he told reporters in Sydney yesterday.

"The only way to get to the bottom of this is to have a full investigation ... [with] sworn statements. The Prime Minister clearly does have to tell us what she was told verbatim by her office and by her former staffer, we need to know who knew what when and exactly who said what when."

Gillard and Abbott became trapped in a Canberra restaurant on Thursday when protesters from the nearby Tent Embassy surrounded them, angered by Abbott's earlier comments that it was time for the embassy to "move on".

Gillard and Abbott were evacuated from the restaurant when police and security personnel assessed there was a risk to them remaining there.

Gillard's media adviser, Tony Hodges, resigned on Friday after admitting he had told ACT union official Kim Sattler that Abbott was inside the restaurant and for that information to be passed on to protesters nearby at the tent embassy.

News.com.au yesterday reported that Sattler said she had been forced into hiding in Canberra after Gillard identified her at a live press conference as the person who tipped off the Aboriginal protesters.

Sattler, a Labor Party supporter and secretary of Unions ACT, said she was "the messenger who is being shot" and that she had only repeated information given to her by Hodges.

Gillard said Hodges had been trying to organise Aboriginal groups to respond to Abbott's remarks but that this was a "grave error of judgment".

"At no point did Mr Hodges say to Ms Sattler that Mr Abbott had suggested that the tent embassy be torn down or removed in any way," Gillard said.

- AAP

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