Incident Summary:

12/02/1998: In a series of related incidents, a mail bomb was delivered to the home former federal sex discrimination commissioner, Sue Walpole in Melbourne, Australia. There were no casualties in this incident. Several other mail bombs were also mailed out around Australia and twenty-two additional parcels were discovered at a Canberra mail center. Colin George Dunstan, a disgruntled former Australian Taxation Office employee, was the suspected perpetrator.




Australasia & Oceania

region/u.s. state:



Attack Information
Type of Attack (more) Bombing/Explosion
Successful Attack? (more) Yes
Target Information (more)
Target Type: Government (General)
Name of Entity Former Government Official
Specific Description Sue Walpole, former Federal Sex Discrimination Commissioner, in Melbourne
Nationality of Target Australia
Additional Information
Hostages No
Ransom No
Property Damage Yes
Extent of Property Damage Minor (likely < $1 million)
Value of Property Damage Unknown
Weapon Information
Type Sub-type
Explosives Letter Bomb
Additional Information
Suicide Attack?No
Part of Multiple Incident?Yes
Criterion 1 (more) No
Criterion 2 (more) Yes
Criterion 3 (more) Yes
Doubt Terrorism Proper (more) Yes
Alternate Designation (more) Other Crime Type
Additional Information This was one of four related attacks (cf. 199812020001-3; 199812030003). These parcels let to bomb scares the following day in Melbourne, Sydney, and the Northern Terrority led to the evacuation of major buildings. These scares turned out to be false alarms.
Perpetrator Group Information
Group Name Claimed Responsibility
Unknown (suspected) No
Perpetrator Statistics
Number of Perpetrators 1
Number of Captured Perpetrators 0
Casualty Information
Total Number of Casualties 0 Fatalities / 0 Injured
Total Number of Fatalities 0
Number of U.S. Fatalities 0
Number of Perpetrator Fatalities 0
Total Number of Injured 0
Number of U.S. Injured 0
Number of Perpetrators Injured 0
"Tax office evacuated by bomb scare; Darwin Parliament also cleared out," Associated Press Worldstream, December 02, 1998.
Peter Spielmann, “Bomb scares evacuate NT Parliament, Sydney and Melbourne towers With AP Pho,” Associated Press Worldstream, December 3, 1998.