An AAP news photographer has been asked to delete photographs of the prime minister's chief of staff Peta Credlin.
Tony Abbott's chief of staff Peta Credlin has demanded a news photographer delete images of her.
AAP photographer Tracey Nearmy shot the images at a media event with the prime minister at Endeavour Hills police station in Melbourne on Friday.
"I want the photographs deleted," Ms Credlin told Ms Nearmy immediately after she became aware the images had been taken.
Ms Nearmy had shot video footage of the PM's event and noticed his high-profile chief of staff was also present.
"I thought I should try to get some shots as (Ms Credlin's) not normally in his entourage when he comes down here," Ms Nearmy said.
Exiting the room where the prime minister had been speaking, Ms Nearmy took some photographs of Ms Credlin, who was in the hallway where journalists were being ushered through to a station exit.
Ms Credlin, who has kept a low profile since Mr Abbott survived a leadership challenge in February, then made what Ms Nearmy described as a "robust request" for the images to be deleted.
Audio caught by Nearmy's video camera captured the exchange.
"Sorry, I would like it deleted please," Ms Credlin says.
"This is a secure area. I'm in a secure area. This is a secure environment. I want the photographs deleted."
The prime minister's chief of staff then describes it as a "police area".
"I was deliberately not in that room, because that was the media room," she says.
A spokesman for the prime minister later told AAP Victoria Police had cleared specific, designated areas of the station for media access.
"For obvious operational reasons, video and stills footage were permitted inside those areas only," the spokesman said.
"The photographer began taking photographs outside the authorised area and was asked to stop taking photographs and to delete the photographs in question."
But Ms Nearmy said no briefing was provided to photographers on where they could or could not shoot.
A Victoria Police media liaison officer told Ms Nearmy as they left the station the photos were permitted in the hallway because they did not depict any posters or other information on the walls.
Ms Nearmy did not delete the photos.