WESTERN Victorian MP Andy Meddick says his positions on controversial Parliamentary bills has resulted in targeted attacks on him and his family.
Mr Meddick said a number of people allegedly attempted to enter his Torquay home while the family was out, less than a week after he made his position on a bill banning LGBTIQA+ conversion therapies, that passed six days later.
A trend in people periodically entering the MP’s property has emerged over the years whenever a controversial issue is brought to parliament, with the most recent alleged attempt to break-in caught on security footage.
“Controversial bills come up and that’s when things spike and we get more movement in the driveway,” he said.
“During the State of Emergency bill, it got to a point where my wife and my youngest did not feel safe at home.
“They went to a place outside of the electorate and stayed there while the votes were happening.”
Mr Meddick believes people are beginning to feel they have a right to harass MPs and their families which is often antagonised by fellow social media users.
“I saw some stuff on social media, people saying I don’t have a right to feel this way and that we are fair game,” he said.
“If people don’t agree with me that’s fine, have a go at me but you don’t have the right to threaten my family.”
During the lead-up to the bill banning conversion therapies, Mr Meddick’s two transgender children were the subject of “vile comments” as well as his parenting being called into question by members of the public.
“The least they said was that my children didn’t have a right to exist, that they should be ‘taken care of’ and that we were failures as parents,” he said.
“I honestly believe a lot of it is genuine scare tactics, in terms of the population there are few people who commit violent crimes.
“The rate of perpetrators appear to be going down, but these people are emboldened by what they read.”
Mr Meddick is concerned by some people’s use of social media saying the platforms act as an echo chamber where people are receiving reinforcement for their inappropriate and threatening comments.
“Certainly, due to ‘Trumpism’ and the use of social media there seems to be an escalation in threats and who people think they have a right to target,” he said.
“Being in the public eye you develop thick skin, but I always remain concerned for my family.”
Despite the unwanted attention around his family home, Mr Meddick says he feels the support of the Torquay community.
“The good thing about living in a community like Torquay, it is a small town and yes I have a public profile, so people tend to know us they do keep an eye out,” he said.
Suspicious activity around the Meddick family home and any concerning threats received by the family is sent to Parliamentary Security and Victoria Police for further investigation.