Arrest over package at WA premier’s office

A man has been arrested after suspicious packages were delivered to the electorate offices of West Australian Premier Mark McGowan and a federal Labor MP.

Mr McGowan’s office in Rockingham, south of Perth, was evacuated on Tuesday after a man threw an item wrapped in tinfoil into the building.

One staff member was taken to hospital as a precaution.

A similar tinfoil package and a letter were earlier delivered to the nearby electorate office of federal Labor MP Madeleine King.

The related incidents come just days from Saturday’s state election.

Police Commissioner Chris Dawson said the package at Mr McGowan’s office contained a “water-based substance” which was not toxic or harmful.

A 67-year-old man was arrested overnight and is undergoing mental health assessments.

“We don’t believe there’s any broader connection with any other group or anything like that,” Mr Dawson told Perth radio 6PR on Wednesday.

“We believe it’s just a person acting by himself and we’ll continue our way through that investigation … we don’t believe there’s an issue for broader public concern.”

Dozens of police and emergency workers attended Mr McGowan’s office, including a hazmat crew and Australian Federal Police officers.

Mr Dawson confirmed police were also investigating a death threat indirectly received by the premier on the campaign trail.

A spokesperson for the premier said the threat was made by a man who approached Labor’s candidate for Carine, Paul Liburne, at an early voting centre in Hillarys on Monday.

Police do not believe that incident is linked to the suspicious packages.

The premier attended his office on Tuesday to check on the welfare of his staff, describing them as being shaken by the incident.

“The election is now just three days away, and tensions can get high, but I ask everyone to be respectful of one another,” he wrote on Facebook.

“As with all forms of violence and threats, this kind of behaviour has no place in our society.”

Ms King also took to social media, saying an independent review being conducted into the workplace culture of federal parliament should also examine the frequent threats made to MPs and their staff.

“My staff are all OK and several of them spent last night helping the police with their investigations,” she said.

“Sadly, this is not the first time my office has been threatened.”

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