These sorts of discussions are nothing new. Debates about how to handle modern cryptography have been running since its invention. The police are judged exclusively by their ability to catch criminals. They are not judged on how eloquently they argue for civil rights. Plus, they are exposed to the pointy end of criminal behaviour and its impact on people every single day, so of course they tend to get frustrated when they can't stop it. They are rarely if ever exposed to the pointy end of government abuses of power, partly because it's often them or their colleagues in the national security state doing it.
All the above has been true ever since the modern concept of a police force was created back in Victorian England. The police ask for more powers so they can catch more criminals. The job of the politicians who can give them that power is to weigh the costs and benefits, and try to ascertain the mood of their voters. Sometimes they say yes and other times they say no.
So just because in Australia the police are asking for more powers does not imply anything is wrong or unusual. The real thing to pay attention to is the final outcome.
The real reason these sorts of discussions cause widespread concern, especially on sites like Slashdot, is not the inherent push/pull compromise-based process of making and enforcing law, but rather trust in the whole process has broken down to such an extent that nobody believes the outcomes will be fair or properly enforced.