‘My stance on guns has not changed’
THE gun-loving mother of the man accused of holding up three Gold Coast petrol stations in a four-hour siege says she talked down her son by telling him that police and workers "had families too".
However, far-right campaigner Kim Vuga says her boy's alleged rampage has done little to change her stance on guns and further enforced her belief that drug dealers should be given the death penalty.
Jaimie Madden, 29, is set to face court today over 15 charges relating to the four-hour ordeal, which allegedly started with him threatening a taxi driver with a gun at 7.45pm on Friday and ending in a tense standoff with police at Freedom Fuel St Clair in Nerang St, Southport, just before midnight.
Specialist police, helicopter and negotiators were called in and Madden was eventually taken into custody without incident.
The type of firearm in Mr Madden's possession is not yet known.
"It was a video call and he told me he was at the petrol station," Ms Vuga told the Bulletin yesterday about her Friday night conversation with her son.
"He asked me if I wanted a few cigarettes. I asked, 'what is happening?'.
"When I realised he was in a service station my biggest concern was for the safety of others."
Madden is accused of threatening workers at the station with a firearm.
Police said the staff member was able to get out of the building, leaving Madden inside alone.
Mrs Vuga has come under fire on social media at the weekend for her controversial political views.
She is the founder of the Love Australia or Leave Party, was previously involved in the SBS TV documentary Go Back To Where You Came From, was behind Gladstone's Stop the Mosque campaign, and had two unsuccessful tilts at a senate position in 2016 and 2019 where she had called for gun laws to be relaxed.
"My stance on guns has not changed," Mrs Vuga said yesterday. "It's those unregistered, unlicensed guns that makes it really hard for responsible gun owners.
"I believe that a certain amount of the public would be responsible enough to have a gun.
"Had the Christchurch Mosque Imam had a gun on his hip that day hopefully there wouldn't have been 50 lives lost."
Mrs Vuga said she accepted her proposed changes to gun laws could have affected her own son, if he was found to be guilty.
"Other people should have the right to defend themselves," she said.
"Just because he's my son, doesn't make it OK for the other people. If that meant Jaimie getting shot, that is fine."
Mrs Vuga said her son had attempted to record messages for his two kids while stalling during the standoff.
"I was in contact with police negotiator with what was happening."
"I was horrified a grown man who was working at the business had to bow down and was in fear for his life. I feel so sorry for the victims and the amount of damage caused."
"I kept reminding him police and everyone there all had families too."
The mother had made a public statement on Saturday about the event expressing her sorrow.
"Our family's deepest wish at this time is for the many victims to be able to resource the necessary help required so that they may be able to rebuild their lives," she said.
Mrs Vuga also thanked police for the way they responded.
"Our hear felt (sic) thanks go to QLD Police, who selflessly go to work every day, putting their lives on the line to protect others."
Mrs Vuga has previously publicly defended her son, describing him in 2015 as a "brilliant dad" to two children.
She told the Bulletin said she had spoken to her son several times in the past two weeks.
He had moved to the Gold Coast about 12 months ago for a fresh start, but his relationship had broken down.
"I had a horrible feeling all week."
Ms Vuga also confirmed her son had a history of drug use, further cementing her stance against dealers.
"There is a major drug issue facing Australia that needs to be sorted ASAP, until we lock up the dealers and the importers. I will go as far as saying perhaps they should receive the death penalty.
"Drugs aren't an excuse."
Mrs Vuga praised Queensland police for their efforts during the siege.
Madden is due to appear in Southport Magistrates Court today after being excused from appearing on Saturday due to health concerns.
He was hospitalised early on Saturday morning after suffering a seizure in the police watchhouse and again Sunday.
Mrs Vuga confirmed her son had a history of stress-related seizures.