WA Premier Mark McGowan says death threats received by Transport Minister Rita Saffioti and Armadale MP Tony Buti over taxi-plate buyback legislation have only hardened the government's resolve to implement the reforms.
Speaking with 6PR's Oliver Peterson on Perth Live Wednesday night Mr McGowan also warned if the legislation didn't pass the parliament then taxi-plate owners would receive no compensation.
Ms Saffioti and Dr Buti received letters this week related to the legislation's on-demand transport industry reforms and a $120 million four year taxi plate buyback scheme.
On Tuesday Ms Saffioti's eight year old daughter opened the letter sent to their family address. It contained death threats and clippings of Ms Saffioti's late father's death notice.
Dr Buti, who has led the development of the legislation, recieved his letter on Monday. It allegedly said "strange things" would happen to his family unless he fixed the taxi industry.
Mr McGowan told Perth Live he had never seen the lives children threatened in this way before.
"This is a serious criminal offence and to threaten the lives of little kids is, I think everyone would agree, is beyond shocking," he said.
"Rita is no shrinking violet and she is a pretty effective operator but this is not something you expect in politics.
"It's terrible for a mum to think that her children’s lives are under threat in this way."
Mr McGowan said the threats would not change the government's policy in any way and issued a warning that this was the last offer of compensation.
"We are trying to help the taxi plate owners out...some of them seem disgruntled with that and they’ve resorted to these techniques but all this is done is harden our resolve that this is the package, this is the one we’ll take forward," he said.
"We expect it to go through the parliament, if it doesn’t then there wont be any compensation package, that will be the end of the matter.
"If it doesn’t go through, that's it, we tried. And we tried to give a fair arrangement to people."
Dr Buti said he recieved the letter on his birthday.
He said he would never have expected a response like this to the legislation.
"I knew that there were peopel that weren't happy but I never would have expected death threats," he said.
"You've got to wonder what the motive is behind it, what were they trying to achieve? Scare us? If they thought that was going to change the policy, highly unlikely. It's counter productive."
Both MPs will have a beefed up security arrangements in response to the letters.
The buyback scheme will compensate taxi-plate owners up to a maximum of $250,000 per plate after the introduction of rideshare apps like Uber demolished their value.
The legislation was introduced to parliament on Wednesday and would introduce a 10 per cent levy on all taxi, rideshare and charter vehicle fares to pay for the plate buyback.
Uber previously lobbied the state government to lower the levy but welcomed the broader reforms.
A spokeswoman for Uber said it supported reforms that gave certainty to the sector and recognised ridesharing as a key part of the transport mix in WA.
Hamish Hastie is a Fairfax Media business reporter writing from the WAtoday offices in Perth. He was raised in Armadale in Perth's south east and covered the area for four years at the Examiner Newspaper before a stretch writing for the Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA's business magazines.