Mark McGowan closes Rockingham office over ‘disgusting and disgraceful’ rape threats from anti-vaxxers

Hannah CrossSound Telegraph
WA Premier Mark McGowan has had to close his Rockingham office after staff received threats.
Camera IconWA Premier Mark McGowan has had to close his Rockingham office after staff received threats. Credit: Simon Santi/The West Australian

Premier Mark McGowan has been forced to close his Rockingham electorate office after his staff were allegedly subjected to rape threats from anti-vaxxer extremists.

Mr McGowan announced the closure last week and labelled the behaviour “threatening, intimidating, disgusting and disgraceful”.

“There’s been death threats, there’s been threats to rape my staff, there’s been people trying to bomb my office, someone tried to turn up with an armoured car with a machine gun on the top,” he said.

The Premier said it was unfair to target people’s staff and their families, asking them to “stop and just act like reasonable human beings”.

“This sort of language, abuse and threatening behaviour is causing immense distress and harm,” Mr McGowan said.

“I’d just urge all those people acting like that to stop. A lot of it is unlawful. A lot of it is criminal.”

The rape threats are the latest in a string of threats against the Premier, his family and staff, with Meadow Springs man James Tioro recently appearing in court after being charged with taking an armoured vehicle to Mr McGowan’s electorate office in an attempt to cause fear.

The Meadow Springs man had earlier tried to take the armoured vehicle to Mark McGowan's Rockingham electorate office.
Camera IconJames Tioro was charged with attempting to take the armoured vehicle to Mark McGowan's Rockingham electorate office. Credit: Still via 7NEWS/RegionalHUB

A spokesperson for the WA Government said staff from the Premier’s Rockingham office were continuing their duties after the incident.

“While the Premier’s electorate office has been closed indefinitely for safety reasons, at this stage there are no plans to set up a separate office elsewhere,” the spokesperson said.

“Staff continue to perform their responsibilities, away from the office.”

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