Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott had put $13.8 million aside for an anti-terrorist measures, apparently aimed at changing immigration policies that were too lenient. After the Martin Place siege of December 2014 this was probably what the public wanted to hear. Knowing that terrorism is a serious ongoing concern most would agree that preventative measures should be taken, but just what measures would be effective is hard to ascertain.

Measures to prevent terrorism are sometimes hard to reconcile with other policies, like Mr Abbot’s ‘instinct is to extend to as many people as possible the freedom and benefits of life in Australia’ (1) . How to offer these benefits and freedom, how to find the right individuals for immigration, is the difficult trick. Mr Abbott was vocal about leniency in policies, but what do we change? Can someone find a tell-tale sign that indicates whether a person is a potential terrorist?

A different prime minister can mean a complete change in policy. If we believe that the politicians are supposed to enact the Australia public’s views we might face a few odd questions here. The prime minister has changed, not the public or its opinion; yet the policy changes with the change of leader. On the other hand, if we believe that the prime minister is there to make decisions in the public’s interest we might feel a little more content. The New Prime Minister might have a different policy, but he will try to bring about the result that the public wants. This is how democracy ostensibly works- The leader gives the public what it wants or s/he gets replaced. Hence, a change in public opinion means either a change in who is a Prime minister, or a Prime Minister who has to change his/her mind.

Of course, Mr Turnbulls’ acquisition of the Prime Ministership was due to support within his party, not a public vote. Mr Turnbull’s opinion on immigration has not yet come forth; he has only been in office a matter of days. Perhaps it will be more to do with the immigration minister, which may also change as Mr Turnbull reshuffles the positions. Still, the leader usually allocates someone who is in line with his/her own policies.

The new Prime Minister’s notion of introducing a new type of leader ship have to be balanced against his retaining of the present same-sex marriage policy, the same climate change policy and his praise of former Prime Minister Abbott’s boarder protection policies (2). A new leader will tend to tell people he will turn the present situation around; if the present situation didn’t need turning the old leader would still be there! Nonetheless he might support the previous policies, but be more effective in implementing them.

Any changes in the immigration policies should be made public in the near future. If you think you need legal advice talk to Hope Immigration, Immigration Lawyers Sydney.

(1) Hudson, Phillip (23 January 2010). “Abbott urges more migration, compassion for boat people”. The Advertiser.