Maverick Liberal Senator Bill Heffernan took a pipe bomb to work – Parliament House in Canberra – today to support his argument that budget security cuts will put the Parliament at risk.
Heffernan, who chairs the Senate Estimates Committee on regional affairs, was sitting on the Senate legal and constitutional affairs committee when brandished his home-made ‘pipe bomb’ (it looks like a farm tool used to ram star pickets into the ground) and detonator as hearings got underway.
He said the building was already unsafe and there was nothing to stop people smuggling in the ingredients he used to use as a child to blow up tree stumps, to create a home-made bomb.
Addressing Federal Police Commissioner Tony Negus at the hearing, the Senator gave the recipe for creating a bomb.
“At the present time, there’s nothing to stop a person bringing those ingredients in over a period of time, through security, would you agree?” the Senator asked the Commissioner.
Commissioner Negus replied that “under the current arrangements, that is a risk, yes.”
Last week, a year-long security trial began, which meant politicians and their staff were no longer subject to metal detector and bag checks.
The outspoken and controversial Senator has a history of gaffes, including calling Qantas CEO Alan Joyce “an old Irish bomb maker”, abusing Parliamentary privilege to falsely accuse former High Court judge Michael Kirby of impropriety and introducing himself as “the devil” when he rang the home of former independent MP Rob Oakeshott and spoke to his wife.
In 2009, Senator Heffernan attempted to smuggle a knife into the NSW Parliament and threatened the security guard who confiscated the weapon. The Senator apologised later for his actions.
Now watch Senator Heffernan in Parliament this morning.
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