Tony Abbott with Paterson MP Bob Baldwin. Photo: Andrew Meares
A Port Stephens man will face court for allegedly threatening to shoot Paterson MP Bob Baldwin because he was unhappy about the federal budget.
A 74-year-old Salt Ash man will appear in Raymond Terrace court this month facing allegations that he threatened to shoot Mr Baldwin, and his staff, during a phone call to the MP's electorate office in May. The electorate is on the mid-north coast of NSW.
The threat was believed to have been made as a direct response to the budget.
Mr Baldwin, who is parliamentary secretary to the Industry Minister, was not the only member of the government to face threats following its release.
Last month Fairfax Media reported that four senior ministers in the Abbott government had been assigned secret-service style protection, while a fifth minister was receiving personal protection because of specific threats.
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop was assigned a close personal protection team from the Federal Police before a visit to Sydney University on May 16, three days after the budget was released.
She was surrounded by angry students during the visit, forcing her security team to intervene.
The call to Mr Baldwin's office is alleged to have been made on May 14, the day after the budget's release, and was answered by one of his staffers.
It was reported to police after the man's number was traced back to him.
Mr Baldwin wouldn't comment because the matter is still before the courts.
While there was not believed to be a specific risk to the MP, Inspector Guy Flaherty from the Port Stephens Local Area Command said police would treat any threat with ''utmost seriousness''.
The man was interviewed by police in June and will appear at Raymond Terrace local court on July 28.