Australia's opposition immigration spokeswoman Sharman Stone on Friday denied any racial angle into the violent attacks on Indian students in Sydney and Melbourne.
Stone said she believed the thugs were targeting students carrying expensive items like laptop computers.
"I don't think it's a case of ... that here's an Indian student let's give him a hard time," Stone, a former manager of international development at the University of Melbourne, was quoted as saying by an AAP report.
"If you're moving around late at night... at our railway stations because you've got a job at the local 7/11, you are perhaps carrying a computer, you're a bit of a sitting duck," she said.
"That's shameful," Stone said of the attacks.
She said while the assaults on Indians would be unlikely to affect diplomatic ties with India, parents in that country may be more reluctant to send their children to Australia.
The federal government had been "very slack" in monitoring and accrediting education agents who brought overseas students to Australia, Stone said.
Meanwhile, University of Australia's vice-chancellor for international issues, Daryl Le Grew has sought swift national approach to address the issue, a report in 'Sydney Morning Herald' said.
"Having created a 16 billion dollar education industry, we have to make sure enough of the returns actually go back in to sustaining it," he said.