Another suspicious envelope has been sent to the West Australian government – this time to state parliament.
WA Police Acting Commander Tony Flack confirmed on Thursday that a suspicious white A4 envelope was found during mail screening at parliament.
It followed similar envelopes sent to the electorate offices of Premier Colin Barnett and Treasurer Mike Nahan on Wednesday.
They contained a threatening message and white powder, which turned out to be flour.
“The threat does not declare an intention to cause the general public any harm,” Acting Commander Flack told reporters.
“It appears targeted to the recipients of the correspondence.”
Acting Commander Flack said police were calling other electorate offices to check if more suspicious envelopes had been discovered.
Before it emerged that members of parliament were being targeted, two envelopes were intercepted at an Australia Post depot near Perth Airport, forcing an evacuation.
One of them was addressed to The West Australian newspaper, with a typed note saying, “if the powder doesn’t get you, the bomb will”.
Acting Commander Flack suggested the other was addressed to a government entity, but would not elaborate further.
He said the content of the messages were identical but had no references to government policies and no clear motive, meaning they could be a “personal beef”.
“There is no intelligence to suggest that the threats referred to in the messages are likely to be acted upon,” he said.
Police were analysing DNA and fingerprints on all of the envelopes but the perpetrator or perpetrators were not in the “mastermind” category, Acting Commander Flack said.
He said there was “nothing elaborate in this at all” but it had “scared the living daylights” out of electorate staff.
The penalty for such an offence ranges between two and 14 years in prison, depending on the degree of the threat.
“I don’t want the public to think that because the powder was not toxic and no one has been harmed that this is a trivial matter,” Acting Commander Flack said.
“It is an attack on our system of government.”
Police Commissioner Karl O’Callaghan said police would talk to several people about their security procedures, including the Dignitary Protection Unit, which was responsible for protecting members of parliament.
Mr Barnett told Fairfax radio he did not know what was behind the latest “mischievous activity” to target him but said it had used up a lot of police resources.
In January, a man angry about WA’s shark culling program vandalised Mr Barnett’s electorate office, smashing windows with a hammer and spray-painting the word “egomaniac” across them.