IT WAS a media frenzy in Liverpool as impatient journalists waited for Opposition Leader Tony Abbott to arrive.
The secrecy surrounding his visit was enough to stop traffic — and it did.
Mr Abbott disembarked his campaign bus in Elizabeth Street in front of the Westfield shopping centre before braving the crowd.
Enveloped in a media scrum during a CBD walk-through, he quizzed local business owners (at the Chocolate Room and Vespa) on the growing need for closed- circuit television cameras.
Referring to Liverpool as a "vibrant city" that "deserved to be safe at all times", Mr Abbott ended his visit with a media address in which he said he would commit $300,000 to the council's existing CCTV project if he were elected.
The money would be assigned under the Coalition's Safer Street Program.
The funds are a small portion of the $50 million being allocated nationally under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.
But the Opposition Leader missed the deadline for breaking news on that issue.
Fowler MP Chris Hayes announced more than three weeks ago that the incumbent government would commit $300,000 under the same act to assist the council to expand its present CCTV project.
Mr Hayes said the funding would enable the installation of 30 additional cameras and improved lighting in the CBD.
"We are taking money from criminals and putting it back into the community to prevent crime before it occurs," he said.
"CCTV cameras deter crime.
"They allow for timely detection and response from the police and increase community confidence and safety."
Mr Abbott's address was short.
He refused to take questions from the media.