Pipe bomb in Parliament

Senator Bill Heffernan has taken a fake homemade pipe bomb into Parliament.

Pipe bomb in Parliament

Yesterday Senator Bill Heffernan brought a homemade pipe bomb into Parliament. It was a fake, but he presented it to the Parliament in order to make the point that the new security screening arrangements at Parliament House are flawed. A week ago the arrangements were changed to allow most staff, including politicians, to enter Parliament House without first going through a security screening.

The justification is that senators and their staff have already undergone police checks, however, Senator Heffernan is arguing that any one of those staff members could potentially be blackmailed into brining something dangerous, such as explosives, into Parliament, with security now none the wiser.

Police commissioner Tony Negus said he was warned about the stunt beforehand, and admitted to being unhappy with the new security arrangements.

The controversial security trial has partly been caused by budget pressures on the Department of Parliamentary Services, which funds the security at Parliament House. Senate clerk Rosemary Laing expressed her frustration this morning at the funding cuts. “You know, you cannot let the national Parliament dwindle into insignificance by starving it of funding. It's simply an unsustainable and impossible situation. The Parliament is an arm of Government, established under the Constitution along with the Executive Government and the Judiciary. I mean, to think that any of those arms of government is effectively crippled through starvation of funds is unacceptable.”

To find out more, visit the ABC News website. 

Opinion: It only takes one

No, it wasn’t an unhappy student taking the protests a step too far. It wasn’t a pensioner facing a future of reduced pension payments, or a single mother of four whose taxes could go up by as much as 10 per cent because of the budget. It was a senator who brought a pipe bomb into Parliament yesterday, along with some homemade dynamite and some frightening suggestions on what could be brought into Parliament through the new security arrangements if someone had the patience to transport weapons components in over a few weeks.

All of the explosives he produced were fake (and it’s difficult not to picture Senator Heffernan sitting in his loungeroom gluing what appears to be a telephone cord to a metal pipe while watching MasterChef), but they still served to make a very strong point. It’s not that he, or those unhappy with the new security arrangements, expect everyone to start bringing weapons into Parliament House. The warning is simply this: it only takes one. No matter how upstanding an institution may be, there will always be pockets of corruption and people who do the wrong thing. No institution is immune – the Government has seen its fair share of scandal in the past year alone, the church is undergoing a major inquiry and a former police detective is on the run right now.

These instances show us that no matter how much we trust an institution to do the right thing, we should not trust a person simply because of their association with that institution. In past terrorist attacks, it is individuals who have done the wrong thing, and while they may be few and far between, it only takes one to wreak havoc on the lives of innocent bystanders.

Choosing not to perform a simple security scan on senators and their staff as a way to cut costs is not only unnecessary, it is downright dangerous. But perhaps it shows how little even the Government feels we need our national leaders if they are prepared to put the lives of everyone in the Parliament at risk just to save a few bucks. Remember, it only takes one, and with how angry Australians are over the latest budget it seems crazy that the Government is reducing security, rather than increasing it.

What do you think? Do you agree with the way Senator Heffernan made his point? Should the Government seriously reconsider cutting security costs, or are security scans at Parliament House just a waste of taxpayer money? 





    COMMENTS

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    jeffr
    27th May 2014
    10:39am
    Does anyone remember the saying "Who was the only honest man to enter parliament in England"? Answer Guy Fawkes.
    particolor
    27th May 2014
    3:27pm
    I miss Cracker Night !!
    lasaboy
    27th May 2014
    6:36pm
    now that's funny
    Reeper
    27th May 2014
    10:57am
    Well I guess a Senator taking a 'bomb' in is better than a terrorist and if it does highlight holes in security then action is necessary. Don't agree with Guy Fawkes being the only honest man to enter Englands parliament. He was a religious terrorist who was part of a plot to remove a protestant King and replace him with a catholic one - same sort of thing islamic terrorists are trying to do nowadays
    jeffr
    27th May 2014
    11:35am
    Methinks you are missing the point, politicians (of any political persuasion) who tell lies are not honest and consequently are misleading the general public of Australia.
    But thanks for the history lesson.
    particolor
    27th May 2014
    3:26pm
    WHO CARES Once Again ?? The Place Needs a Clean out Anyhow !!!..
    Nightshade
    27th May 2014
    12:00pm
    THIS WHOLE THING IS ONE BIG STUNT & NOTHING MORE.

    "Oh, look we have had the budget cuts inflicted upon us also," - "We are now in danger"
    Security has not changed one bit - as if !
    Nightshade
    27th May 2014
    12:08pm
    Remember the chemical factory fire within sight of Parliament House during the Gillard Government -
    There was all sorts of speculation -
    It was said that it was deliberate -
    That it was set within the sight if Parliament House -
    That it was to send a strong message to Canberra & the Gillard Government.

    THEY WERE ALL RUNNING AROUND LIKE CHOOKS WITH THEIR HEADS CUT OFF.
    TERRORISTS
    ANARCHISTS
    JUST WHAT MESSAGE "THEY" WERE SENDING WE DON'T KNOW.

    In fact it was just the usual run of the mill fire due to carelessness etc.
    Nightshade
    27th May 2014
    12:16pm
    Or are we being PREPED for something like a America -
    How Are We Going To Demolish 3 Towers Riddled with Asbestos That At about To Fall Down Due To Shonky Building In The Cheapest & Easiest Way -
    Nightshade
    27th May 2014
    1:07pm
    book :- BLUR MURDER
    author :- our very own BEN HILLS, who did a lot of leg work & research to get this book together.
    Nightshade
    27th May 2014
    1:07pm
    BLUE MURDER sorry 1
    particolor
    27th May 2014
    3:31pm
    I take Deadly Nightshade Seriously too I read about it in a Hemlock Holmes Novel !!
    lasaboy
    27th May 2014
    12:19pm
    everyone is missing the point made here, if someone wanted to destroy our government and create a major problem, giving others free reign to do whatever they wanted, they simply need to do this and this senator has proven a point, although no-one likes the boy who cried wolf, if they listen the wolf is at the door
    Nightshade
    27th May 2014
    1:09pm
    Is that so
    I say STUNT
    I say CRYING POOR
    I say I WANT TO BE ON TV
    Nightshade
    27th May 2014
    1:15pm
    What they should install is those body scanners that they have at the airport.
    EVERY ONE MUST BE SCANNED especially the Greens - just in case they turn feral
    They say that they give you nose bleeds, diarrhea, vomiting, disorientation, irregular heart beat, .....................
    particolor
    27th May 2014
    3:38pm
    STREWTH !! That sounds like all the things the Present Government are giving the Australian Public at the Moment !!.. I think they ate something Funny from the Speakers Lounge ??
    Helen-gran
    27th May 2014
    1:16pm
    If you even breathe the word "bomb" or "gun" at an airport you are immediately arrested - joke or not! Again, it seems our pollies don't have to obey the rules of the land!
    particolor
    27th May 2014
    3:44pm
    And also You are being Monitored on here Too FBI & AFP !!!!..So don't put a word out of place or You will end up with a Long Misunderstood Sentence !! A bit like some of the Waffle I've read on here this week !!..
    Polly Esther
    27th May 2014
    3:30pm
    Ah Guy Fawkes, yes we remember him well. And please don't anyone say "I was there at the time".
    particolor
    27th May 2014
    3:46pm
    What terrible Plot !! And now He's in one !!
    unicorn
    27th May 2014
    3:37pm
    I say it was a stunt but the main thing is that it could have been very real and no stunt it is no worries about blowing up the building or the people in it (politicians who made the rules} ) more the fact that it could happen with our loved ones in there. And all for the sake of a few dollars saving.
    particolor
    27th May 2014
    3:50pm
    My relies wouldn't be seen in there !! They are Fussy what Pantomime they go to !!
    lasaboy
    27th May 2014
    6:38pm
    mine are fussy as to who they congregate with
    buby
    27th May 2014
    6:29pm
    Well yeh I reckon that was fair enough he was making a good point!
    Unless they want a good clean out, then they should ignore him!
    Wstaton
    28th May 2014
    5:23pm
    If a member of the public had done the same thing they would have been charged and most likely spend time in clink. How come a poly doesn't' get this.
    Blossom
    28th May 2014
    10:35pm
    So much for security.
    I will give you another example. My Mum and I visited Parliament House twice on one coach tour. She always carries nail scissors in her handbag as she has brittle nails and they snag on clothing when touched. The first time Security missed them. The second time they came ou on scans, she handed them in, she was given a numbered slip and was able to get them back as we left.


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