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Heffernan’s pipe bomb warning

Article image for Heffernan’s pipe bomb warning

Liberal Senator Bill Heffernan has exposed possibly fatal holes in the security at Parliament House by producing a mock pipe bomb he easily passed through security this morning. Gary Adshead spoke to Fairfax’s Canberra Bureau Chief Michael Pachi about the stunt.


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Liberal senator Bill Heffernan held up what appeared to be a pipe bomb and some dynamite during a committee hearing to illustrate the ‘joke’ that is parliament house security.   ’Clearly you can do what you bloody well like,’ he told the Senate estimates committee hearing in Canberra on Monday. 

 The colourful veteran senator said up to now most people working in federal parliament knew it to be safe.   But he’s concerned about new security arrangements being trialled and which have been criticised for being lax.   ’I don’t think it any longer is (safe) and to demonstrate that, this morning I brought in what could be, I brought this through security – a pipe bomb,’ he said.   Reaching into a plastic shopping bag, he produced what appeared to be several sticks of dynamite taped together.   

The NSW senator said when he was a kid on the farm he used explosives to blow tree stumps out of the ground.   ’We could blow a tree the size of this building out of the ground,’ he said.   Senator Heffernan said there was nothing to stop someone bringing explosive ingredients into the building through security.   Australian Federal Police commissioner Tony Negus agreed this could happen.   ’Under the current arrangements, that is a risk,’ he said.