Police investigate death threats to WA Premier Mark McGowan after mobile number posted online

Police investigate death threats to WA Premier Mark McGowan after mobile number posted online

October 22, 2021

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WA Police have launched an investigation after Premier Mark McGowan’s personal mobile phone was bombarded with death threats on Wednesday and Thursday.

Mr McGowan’s personal mobile number was plastered across anti-vaccination and “freedom” social media pages and WhatsApp groups on Wednesday night, hours after he announced an expansion of mandatory vaccination rules covering more than 1 million of the state’s workforce.

Protestors gathered outside Parliament in Perth on Friday.Credit:WAtoday

The Premier’s phone rang throughout the night, with constant threats to himself and his family to the point where he was forced to turn it off.

A police spokesman would not comment on what extra precautions were being taken to protect Mr McGowan and his family but WAtoday understands the Premier’s security detail has been beefed up.

The spokesman said the threats were being investigated.

“I can confirm WA Police Force is aware of the threats and an investigation is ongoing,” he said.

Protesters rallying against the government’s move to mandate vaccines for 75 per cent of WA’s workforce have assembled outside the Department of Premier and Cabinet twice this week, with another protest planned for Saturday outside Mr McGowan’s Rockingham home.

On Friday, hundreds gathered outside Parliament House amid chants of “we will not comply” and “Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, oi, oi, oi”.

At one point the protesters demanded politicians front the crowd, despite the fact Parliament does not sit on Fridays.

On Thursday, Mr McGowan was defiant when asked about threats he had received through his own Facebook page.

“Look, what I’m doing and what the government is doing is what is necessary to keep people safe and keep our state safe, and we’re not going to be deterred from that,” he said.

“People can make Facebook comments, they can say these sorts of things, but it’s not going to change the approach to the government.

“We have to do what we have to do to keep the state safe; getting people vaccinated is necessary.”

The mandates are split into three groups, with people working in situations where transmission of the virus is high or could impact vulnerable communities required to have received their first dose by December 1 and second dose by December 31.

The second group are deemed to be jobs critical for the function of businesses and the community and include childcare and school workers, including all teachers.

This group must have received their first vaccination dose by December 31 and must be fully vaccinated by January 31.

The third mandate applies only in the event of a lockdown, where people working in jobs such as bottle shops, media, pet stores, and members of Parliament, are required to show proof they are fully vaccinated to their employer if they want to attend work.

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