As part of her cleanup of issues the government was getting slammed with, Julia's looking at immigration and refugees next. She's given every indication that her approach will pander to the braying racists of the boganitariat.
An important thing to keep in mind are the reasons the rodent kept banging on about refugees. It started out as a way of assimilating the populist racist votes of that other redhead. Having observed the ALP tear itself apart trying to come up with a response, Howard saw it as an effective wedge issue.
The danger for Julia is that there's nowhere to wedge the Tories on this issue. Whatever liberal remnant there was in the Liberal Party was comprehensively eviscerated during Howard's long reign. The Tories will always continue to up the rhetoric, bidding up in the nastiness stakes until the whole progressive vote leaves Labor in disgust.
The only winners here will be The Greens who will win back the progressive votes only very recently won back to the Labor brand.