• 6 News Australia

'Only a matter of time' until assassination attempt in Australia - have there been previous ones?

The comments were made by Shadow Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews.

Former (and currently Shadow) Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews has warned that it's only a 'matter of time' until we see an assassination attempt in Australia, following the death of ex-Japanese PM Shinzo Abe.


Mr Abe was killed on Friday after being shot at a campaign rally.


The comments from Ms Andrews came on Channel 9's Today Show.


"Quite frankly - and I hate to say this - it is but a matter of time until we see such an assassination attempt in Australia," she said.

While rare, there have been several assassination attempts in Australian politics.

In 1994, NSW Labor MP John Newman was shot dead, with Phuong Ngo - who had run against him as an independent in 1991 - convicted of the murder in 2001.


That - to this day - is the only confirmed political assassination of a sitting MP.


In terms of a suspected one, NSW Nationalist MP Hyman Goldstein died from a fall in 1928, with some suspicion that he was actually killed at the request of federal MP Thomas Ley (who was later convicted for murder in England).


Federal Labor MP Frederick McDonald disappeared in 1926, with speculation that Ley may have been responsible for the disappearance.


The only other MP killed while in office was Percy Brookfield - who was, at different points, a member of Labor, Industrial Socialist Labor, Socialist Labor & Industrial Labor Party - killed when trying to disarm someone at a train station, although there is no evidence of a political motive in his death.


Labor’s Albert Whitford was shot dead in Brisbane in 1924, though was no longer in office after losing his seat of Burrum in 1920 (note: image incorrectly says he died in 1920).


And there’s also Ivens Buffett, Lands Minister and Deputy Chief Minister of Norfolk Island - which is an Australian External Territory - who was shot dead in his office in 2004.


A notable unsuccessful attempt was in 1966, when then-Labor leader Arthur Calwell was shot at by Peter Kocan.


Overseas, the UK has seen two recent political assassinations - Labour MP Jo Cox in 2016 & Conservative MP Sir David Amess last year.


Speaking to Leonardo Puglisi, 6 News contributor Stuart Jeffery said an assassination attempt in Australia "very, very, very unlikely" but is "always possible."


Watch the full report here.


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