Security scare: anti-fracking protesters threaten to dump hay bale at Premier’s home

The Premier warned the protesters not to dump the large bale.
The Premier warned the protesters not to dump the large bale.

AN irate Premier Colin Barnett was alone with his driver when angry farmers tried dumping a 1.5t hay bale in the driveway of his western suburbs home about 4pm last Saturday.

“I told them you don’t dare drop that bale in my driveway, and they scampered away with their tails between their legs,” Mr Barnett told the Western Suburbs Weekly today.

Mr Barnett said there were about three utilities, from the anti-fracking Perth Ute Muster at his doorstep.

The Dandaragan Groundwater Protection group, supported by Irwin region, Lake Chittering, Central Midlands and Swan Valley residents, organised the Perth CBD visit to finish at nearby Allen Park, Swanbourne about 3.15pm that day.

“Unconventional gasfields spread over vast areas would damage our existing industries, harming prime agricultural land, tourism, wineries and horse studs, as well as National Parks,” a protest leaflet said.

The anti-frackers raised the ire of Mr Barnett, who famously walked out of an ABC Radio interview many years ago when his family was brought into the discussion, and he had land rights activists at his doorstep in a security scare several years ago.

“I don’t accept that with my family, my wife in the home by herself, that had it been a few minutes later, and although she’s a capable woman, and a few minutes later after I’d left for the function, my wife would have been alone with demonstrators at the gate and hay bale blocking the entry,” he said today.

He said the bale dump, and Roe 8 protestors “trying to smash” his electorate office’s window two weeks ago, were indications of the “nasty” State Election campaign, and future incursions would result in the police being used.

Asked if the protests could be understood given some feel disempowered by his government not listening, Mr Barnett said it was not “the Australian way” to take protests to a person’s home.

He said Roe 8 had been discussed for “decades”, was part of the last election and had been through the courts multiple times.

Contacted this afternoon, muster organisers initially said they were unaware of the incident, but they would investigate and reply.

Police spoke to the anti-fracking stragglers left at Mr Barnett’s, and WA Police has have been contacted for comment about a lack of security.