INTIMIDATING: Protesters were ‘having a go’ at LNP candidate Michael Duggan in Gladstone.
INTIMIDATING: Protesters were ‘having a go’ at LNP candidate Michael Duggan in Gladstone. Contributed

Police called as group hassles LNP candidate

A VISITING federal senator slammed a group of protesters who used bullying tactics against Gladstone's LNP candidate on Thursday.

Michael Duggan and Senator Matthew Canavan had to postpone a media tour with local industry after being followed and intimidated by up to 10 people.

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These men were wearing t-shirts supporting the Not4Sale campaign linked to the Electrical Trades Union. One campaigner was also wearing a Labor Vote for Glenn Butcher t-shirt.

Gladstone police patrolled the area after concerns were raised.

It is the first incident in what has been an otherwise civil campaign in the Gladstone electorate.

Senator Canavan told The Observer he and Mr Duggan were followed by three cars of protestors from their appointment in Barney Point.

"We made a decision to park at the police station," he said.

"There were between eight to 10 blokes who were having a go at Mike (Duggan).

"It was intimidating."

The senator said it was disappointing, uncalled for and unnecessary behaviour.

"It was Keystone Cops stuff. I'm based at Rockhampton and we've had some interaction but not like this. It's not the right way to go about things."

ALP candidate Glenn Butcher had gone straight from the same event Mr Duggan was at to the pre-polling booths, unaware of the incident, but he agreed with the senator.

"From what I can gather there's been no real threats but I would never condone that type of behaviour," he said.

"We've run a very clean campaign and I believe this was a Not4Sale team that was following them around."

Mr Butcher said his campaign team had given away more than 150 t-shirts, so it could have been anyone wearing the Vote for Glenn Butcher t-shirt.

"We want to look after our voters rather than do things like that," he said.

Sergeant Mark Jones said police were notified of the protesters with allegations they were causing problems.

"They asked to have a police presence and cancelled the event they had planned," he said.

"We hope between now and Saturday that any action remains peaceful and adhering to the law."

The ETU did not return phone calls before deadline.