Man charged over Joyce security threat

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A man charged with threatening Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce's security officer on the side of a regional NSW road has faced court.

The 52-year-old was arrested by an Australian Federal Police task force, with the help of NSW Police, following an investigation into the incident on a highway between the regional cities Armidale and Tamworth on Friday.

He was remanded in custody on Monday, where he fronted Tamworth Local Court, charged with threatening to cause harm to a Commonwealth public official and failure to comply with bail conditions.

Police will allege the man verbally threatened an AFP officer, who was providing security to the deputy prime minister, and adopted a fighting stance during the stoush.

The man was arrested at his NSW home on Sunday by officers from Operation Wilmot, which has been set up to ensure the security of parliamentarians and candidates during the federal election.

AFP Detective Acting Superintendent Jeremy Staunton said the arrest should send a strong message to the public.

"The AFP supports political expression and freedom of speech," he said.

"However, when it leads to disruption, harassment, intimidation, threatening behaviour and damage to property, it can reach the threshold of a criminal offence.

"Politicians, candidates and the people who work with them should be able to do their jobs safely and we will not tolerate criminal behaviour."

The man faces a maximum of five years' jail.

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