Earlier, top Navy brass stepped in to stop Mr Abbott grilling officers about how they felt patrolling for asylum seeker boats.The Australian Navy previously had to tell Abbott to stop using the phrase "spending like drunken sailors."
Mr Abbott toured Australia's busiest Naval port he asked several personnel for detail about Operation Resolute.
"Do you get out on those boats often," he asked four Navy personnel at an outdoor staff canteen.
"So you guys were doing people smuggling patrols?," he asked.
"What was it like to apprehend these vessels."
After a pause they offered stilted answers including "it's tiring", "a challenge".
"It's busy," said another.
While another said it was "Tiring work too, frustrating."
At this point Lieutenant Commander Michael Doncaster stepped in and asked for the questions to stop.
"Sir I'd prefer we don't talk on that line and move on," he said.
Senior Navy officers have implored Mr Abbott to tone it down because it doesn't fit with the image they are trying to portray of the modern-day Navy professional as a sensitive, well-behaved individual.
"We are not like that any more,'' a Navy source said.Tony Abbott splashes the cash:
"It is not an image that is reflective of the current force or ideals.''
- $67 million to deploy Australian Federal Police officers to Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Malaysia to assist with joint people smuggling operations;
- $20 million to "enlist Indonesian villages to support people smuggling disruption including a capped boat buy back scheme";
- regional transit zones to help move asylum seekers to offshore processing centres without needing to go first to Christmas Island or the Australian mainland;
- $27 million for increased aerial surveillance and $71 million to Indonesia to boost their search and rescue resources;
- supplement the border protection fleet with commercially leased vessels; and
- expand the capacity of processing centres on Manus Island and Nauru by 2000.
There is a gap of almost $30 billion between the size of the tax cuts and new spending the Coalition has promised and the savings it has unveiled so far, leading economist Saul Eslake estimates.
In a 34-page review for clients of how a Coalition government might change economic management, Mr Eslake, chief Australian economist for Bank of America Merrill Lynch, also highlights the potential for "significant and ongoing tensions" in an Abbott government between its "genuine economic liberals", such as shadow treasurer Joe Hockey, and those who are "more sceptical about markets . . . including in many cases Tony Abbott as prime minister".