An Australian lawmaker raised eyebrows during a Senate hearing Monday when he pulled out what he said was a pipe bomb and several sticks of dynamite.
Bill Heffernan, a senator for New South Wales, said the items were fakes, but he was making a point about newly relaxed security in Parliament. Under the new system, members of Parliament, senators, staff, family members and public servants can reportedly enter without passing through metal detectors or X-ray machines.
Liberal Senator Bill Heffernan shows his "pipe bomb" to a parliamentary committee pic.twitter.com/1pci3yVES8
— Andrew Greene (@AndrewBGreene) May 26, 2014
"Up until this point, most people working in this building know that it is safe but I don't think it any longer and to demonstrate that this morning what could be ... I brought this through security, a pipe bomb," Heffernan said, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.
"When I was a kid we used to blow stumps out on the farm, 50 years ago. We'd get some nitropril, a quart of distillate, a plug of jelly and a detonator, light the bloody thing and [it would] go to buggery. It could blow a tree the size of this building out of the ground," he continued.
Australian Federal Police Commissioner Tony Negus said Heffernan showed him the device before the hearing began, according to News.com.au.
“Before Senator Heffernan did produce that piece of pipe, which I think he referred to as a pipe bomb, it was just a piece of pipe, and he did show me that piece of pipe before I walked in this morning and said he was going to use it in some sort of demonstration," Negus was quoted as saying by The Australian. "But I was satisfied it was inert, it was just a piece of metal pipe and that’s all it was."
The lighter security is expected to help save about $370,000 in screening costs per year.