Qld MP closes office due to threats after alleged sexual assault

Queensland Labor MP Brittany Lauga. Photo: Supplied
Queensland Labor MP Brittany Lauga. Photo: Supplied
Queensland's police minister has slammed unknown culprits making threats to a local MP and her staff in a regional town, saying they lack decency and respect.

Labor MP Brittany Lauga said two staff members in her Yeppoon office faced threats after she disclosed earlier this month she was drugged and sexually assaulted while on a night out in the town.

Her colleague, Police Minister Mark Ryan, criticised the unidentified people who made the threats as the Member for Keppel already faced a hard time due to her disclosure.

"No matter what your job is, you should be able to do that job without people attacking you, assaulting you, bullying you," he told reporters on Wednesday.

Mr Ryan said the community should instead act with decency and respect.

"I know people are entitled to their opinions and expressing their views on things but wouldn't the world be a better place if respect and decency were the priority for everyone in the way they conducted themselves," he said.

Ms Lauga closed her electoral office in Yeppoon at the request of the Queensland Parliamentary Services due to the harassment.

"The safety of my staff is absolutely my number one priority," she said in a Facebook post on Tuesday night.

The MP said her hard-working and passionate staff were employed to support her community, not be threatened.

"I will not tolerate threatening or harassing behaviour and as such, the office will remain closed until further notice," she said.

Ms Lauga disclosed earlier this month that she had made a complaint to police that she was drugged and assaulted on a night out in Yeppoon.

Queensland Police confirmed they were investigating the allegation.

The MP also said she heard from other women who had complained of similar incidents.

Police called on anyone in Yeppoon who has had their drink spiked or believed they were sexually assaulted to formally report the matter.

Sexual violence numbers have remained stubbornly high since 2016 across Queensland.

One in four Queensland women have experienced sexual assault since they were 15 years old, the most recent Australian Bureau of Statistics data showed.

The number of sexual assaults reported to police has risen by 7 per cent between 2022 and 2023 across the state.

There have been 3588 reported to police so far this year.

For the smaller community of Yeppoon, sexual assault reports nearly doubled between 2022 and 2023.

Queensland Police data showed a similar trend for small regional communities of an increase in sexual assault reports.