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Gillard escapes egg attack

world Updated: Jul 09, 2010 18:30 IST
Gillard

Australia's new Prime Minister Julia Gillard today narrowly missed an egg thrown at her during her first visit to Perth since assuming the top post and apologised to the woman security guard who was hit.

The egg was lobbed at Gillard by a man protesting against rates of pay for employees when she was entering the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's office in the western Australian city for a radio interview.

The 55-year-old man from the northern Perth suburb of North Beach, who was not named, was charged by police for throwing the egg, ABC reported.

According to an ABC staff member, the man was sitting in a coffee shop next to the foyer of the ABC building in East Perth, waiting for Gillard to arrive.

After he threw the egg, it whizzed past Gillard as she entered the ABC foyer and hit a woman security guard before smashing against a wall.

Gillard, who appeared unfazed by the incident, said "I did see something flying past."

"I've met the lady who was coming in who ended up with the egg on the back of a raincoat, fortunately, so she'll be able to wipe it off.

"I did apologise to her because I don't think someone was throwing an egg at her but she ended up copping the egg," the Prime Minister said.

Gillard, who became Prime Minister last month after Kevin Rudd stepped down, said people have a right to disagree with her, but throwing eggs in not the answer.

"I don't even know what it was about. I don't even know what they are frustrated about, so if people have got something to say to me what I would obviously prefer is ... a frank conversation," she said.

Inspector Allan Adams said there was no security breach and police were not caught off guard.