Death threat for councillor

Cr Mark Graham and the hand written death threat.
Cr Mark Graham and the hand written death threat.

COFFS Harbour councillor Mark Graham has received a written death threat for his outspoken stance against three Northern Beaches developments.

The death threat also included Cr Graham’s colleague, fellow Coffs Harbour Greens councillor Rodney Degens.

The letter, which was posted locally and sent to the councillor via the council offices, comes three weeks after a burglary at his home in which the only item stolen was Cr Graham’s laptop computer, which he said contained sensitive material related to his public role.

Cr Graham said he discovered the hand-written note in a small envelope inside his package of council correspondence when he was checking the envelope before recycling it on Sunday.

The note read: ‘Mark Graham Rodney Degens hands of Hearns Lake South Moone Forest and Emerald Beach or you and your Greens under a concrete slab.’ (sic)

The councillor reported the matter to Coffs Harbour police, which is investigating the death threat and the burglary, in which thieves ignored other valuables in the house.

Material on the computer had not been security encrypted.

“I was probably too trusting,” Cr Graham said.

The two incidents would not discourage him in his work or his campaigns.

“I have plenty of work to do and I don’t need this rubbish,” Cr Graham said. “It is clearly a criminal matter.

“It shocks you a bit, on a Sunday morning. I hope the police can find the perpetrator and he’ll account for his actions, although that is probably a big wish.

“The note seems fairly illiterate so it might be some local psycho.

“There is nothing I have ever done in my elected roles that is illegal, I have always acted in the public interest and I will continue to do.

“I get huge public support from across the community and this is the first negative response I’ve had.”

Cr Graham said he had taken legal advice and this had encouraged him to make the matter public.

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