An emotional Greg Hunt has broken down in tears after he revealed his children had been subject of death threats over his time in public office.
The Health Minister made the admission on Canberra in Wednesday where he was taking questions from reporters on the government’s vaccine rollout.
He was asked about comments Chief Minister Michael Gunner had made earlier in the week about relocating his family due to threats from anti-vaccination protesters.
“Do you think politicians, public health officers, should be given more security and what's being done to respond to some of the concerns within government MPs,” a reporter asked.
Camera IconAn emotional Greg Hunt with tears in his eyes at a press conference in Canberra. Gary Ramage / NCA NewsWire Credit: News Corp Australia
Mr Hunt said he “unequivocally” condemned the actions of the anti-vaccination protesters before breaking down in tears with his own admission.
“I’ve never really talked about it,” he said before his voice wavered.
“There was a period where the lives of my children were threatened quite openly some years ago.
“It was a matter of great concern, but we have very fine federal police in this country.”
Offering his support to Mr Gunner, the Health Minister said it was important Australians respected the work of parliamentarians, even if their views did not align.
“To those that that think violence or the threat of violence is acceptable in any way, shape or form. It is not,” Mr Hunt said.
Camera IconA usually composed Health Minister breaks down while speaking about threats to his children’s lives. Gary Ramage / NCA NewsWire Credit: News Corp Australia
“(Parliamentarians) are overwhelmingly public servants that seek to serve the nation and there will be differing views and differing approaches.
“But this notion of national tolerance and mutual respect is something I believe in passionately.”
Mr Hunt’s candid admission comes after a joint party room meeting where several MPs raised concern about their security while on the job in their electorates following the stabbing death of a UK MP last week.
UK Conservative MP Sir David Amess was stabbed while meeting with members of his electorate at a public event last Friday.
Six MPs raised the issue of their safety in a Coalition party room meeting on Tuesday, prompting Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews to seek a further briefing the Australian Federal Police commissioner.
Sir David is the second MP to have been murdered in the past five years, with Labour MP Jo Cox also killed in similar circumstances in 2016.Internet Explorer Channel Network